Uzbekistan: More Karimova Associates Arrested in Corruption Probe
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has reported that Uzbek authorities have arrested nine more suspects in their investigation into corruption surrounding Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov’s daughter, Gulnara Karimova.
The broadcaster’s Uzbek service said that two senior figures at an Uzbek Coca-Cola bottling plant were among those arrested, and reported that Karimova had once controlled the local Coke bottling business. The radio said Swiss authorities had already investigated two businessmen in the industry on suspicion of money laundering in 2012, although they were later released and allowed to return to Uzbekistan.
In April, OCCRP reported that the US Department of Justice asked Sweden to freeze more than US$ 30 million in assets controlled by Karimova. Earlier this month, the Wall Street journal also reported that the US is seeking to seize US$ 1 billion in European assets in an investigation into the alleged corrupt dealings of telecom firms with individuals around Karimova.
This followed OCCRP’s Prodigal Daughter investigation, which alleged that since 2001 Karimova had received some US$1 billion worth in shares and payments from mobile phone companies in exchange for her influence.