Uzbekistan: Close Associates of President’s Daughter Detained

Three associates of Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbek president Islam Karimov, have been detained and are being questioned for tax evasion and concealing foreign currency.

According to Radio Free Europe, Karimova’s boyfriend Rustam Madumarov, and two of her close associates, Gayane Avakyan and Yekaterina Klyuyeva, were taken in after authorities searched Karimova’s apartment.

Gulnara Karimova (left) and Gayane Avakyan at the Dior Paris Fashion Week in 2012 Photo: Getty Images

The Uzebek Prosecutor General's Office released a statement on Monday saying that three had been summoned for questioning after a criminal investigation into the Terra Group, Prime Media, and Gamma Promotion media groups, reports

Karimova, 41, is a businesswoman, fashion designer, and former diplomat, who according to cables released on Wikileaks, has allegedly been referred to as “the single most hated person in the country” says

The website reports that she was seen as a potential political successor of her iron-fisted 76-year-old father before a public spat with her sister, mother, and the head of Uzbekistan's secret police over the closure of television channels she controlled. 

This is not the first time Karimova’s name has emerged in a corruption scandal, reports Radio Free Europe.

Karimova has been linked to ongoing money-laundering investigations in Sweden and Switzerland, and her media-holding company, Terra Group, is being investigated for bribe-taking.

OCCRP reported that Swedish telecom giant TeliaSonera engaged in months of secret negotiations with the Karimov regime and used an offshore shell company to obtain a license for a 3G network in the Central Asian country. 

The shell company, Takilant Ltd, was run by Avakyan—a former coworker of Karimova’s and one of the three associates detained by authorities.