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Minnesota businessman banned from leaving Mongolia, seeks U.S. help

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A mining executive originally from Elk River is appealing to Minnesota's Congressional delegation for help after the Mongolian government banned him from leaving that country.

Justin Kapla is president of the Mongolian mining company SouthGobi Sands. The Associated Press reports he's being held because he is a potential witness in a corruption investigation. Kapla says the events being investigated predate his arrival at SouthGobi, but Mongolian officials insist someone at the company must be held accountable.

Kapla's father tells the AP the offices of Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Rep. Michele Bachmann have been helpful and are working on the getting the ban lifted.

A mining boom is underway in Mongolia. It's been chronicled by the Economist, the Guardian, and National Public Radio, among others.

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