Dutch prosecutors investigate ING over possible role in corruption in Uzbekistan

TASHKENT (TCA) — An investigation targeting Netherlands-based ING Bank is linked to bribes allegedly paid by the VimpelCom telecommunication services provider and other firms to the daughter of Uzbekistan’s late president, Sputnik news agency reports citing Dutch media.

The Het Financieele Dagblad business daily on March 22 cited an Organization of the Public Prosecution Service spokesperson as claiming that Uzbek ex-President Islam Karimov’s daughter was allegedly paid bribes by VimpelCom alongside other providers.

Reports earlier in the day cited last week’s annual report by ING disclosing it was under criminal investigation into money laundering by Dutch prosecutors.

Dutch prosecutors said on March 22 that they are looking at “irregular” transactions involving ING Bank, a unit of ING Groep, as well as “unusual” payments by telecoms firm VimpelCom to a company held by an Uzbek government official, RFE/RL reported.

ING stated in its annual report last week that it is the subject of a Dutch criminal investigation. It added that U.S. authorities had filed information requests with the Dutch bank regarding the investigation.

“The bank is suspected of having failed to report, or report in a timely fashion, irregular transactions,” Dutch prosecutors said in a statement. “It is suspected of having enabled international corruption and money laundering.”

The prosecutor gave no further details. International investigative journalist collaboration OCCRP said on March 20 that ING was one of more than 730 banks linked to Russian money laundering between January 2011 and October 2014.

VimpelCom, which has its headquarters in the Netherlands, paid 716 million euros in February 2016 to settle its role in the case.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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