Karimova in custody in Uzbekistan for ‘extortion, embezzlement, and tax evasion’

Gulnara Karimova

TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan’s Prosecutor-General’s Office says Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of the late longtime President Islam Karimov, is in custody following a 2015 conviction and faces additional charges in a continuing investigation, RFE/RL reports.

The July 28 statement marked the first time Uzbek authorities have revealed details about the status of Karimova, who has long been rumored to be under strict house arrest in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.

Karimova, 45, was once a high-profile socialite, fashion designer, pop singer, and Uzbekistan’s ambassador to United Nations agencies in Geneva, and was seen as a potential successor to her father.

But her fortunes changed as she found herself at the center of a financial-crimes probe in Uzbekistan in which many of her associates have been jailed. She has also been tied to ongoing money-laundering investigations in Sweden and Switzerland.

The statement by the Prosecutor-General’s Office said that Karimova was sentenced to five years of “restricted freedom” in 2015 after she and several associates were convicted of crimes including extortion, embezzlement, and tax evasion.

Karimova has additionally been charged with several other crimes, including financial misdeeds, forgery, and money laundering, and the investigation continues, the statement said.

Uzbekistan has uncovered the assets of a criminal group allegedly assisted by Gulnara Karimova in 12 countries including Russia, the Uzbek Prosecutor-General’s Office said, Sputnik news agency reports.

“According to the investigation materials, the assets of an organized criminal group totaling $1.394 billion, 63.5 million euros, 27.1 million pounds and 18.5 million francs were preliminarily found in the territory of 12 foreign countries,” the office said.

In Russia, the anti-organized crime and corruption department of the prosecutor’s office detected $6 million worth of assets, a penthouse, a villa and eight apartments in Moscow, in addition to other land and property, the office said.

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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