Uzbekistan: US Seeks to Seize $1 Billion of Assets in Karimova Corruption Probe
The US is reportedly seeking to seize US$ 1 billion in European assets as part of investigation into alleged corruption between three major telecoms companies and Gulnara Karimova, daughter of the President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan.
According to the Wall Street Journal, US prosecutors believe Amsterdam-based Vimpelcom Ltd, Russia-based Mobile TeleSystems PJSC, and Sweden’s TeliaSonera AB paid hundreds of millions of dollars to firms controlled by Karimova in return for telecoms licenses and deals.
The information came from court documents and sources with “direct knowledge” of the criminal investigation, according to the WSJ.
No individual or firm has yet been charged in connection with the probe.
In April, OCCRP reported that the US Department of Justice asked Sweden to freeze more than US$ 30 million in assets controlled by Karimova.
It followed the publication of OCCRP’s Prodigal Daughter investigation, which revealed that since 2001 Karimova had received some US$1 billion worth in shares and payments from mobile phone companies in exchange for her influence.
Reports have circulated claiming that Karimova is currently under house arrest in Uzbekistan, and that some of her associates have been sentenced to prison terms in the former Soviet country.