The U.S. government has initiated an investigation into corruption in Uzbekistan. U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in the New York borough of Manhattan with a request to freeze $ 300 million due to the investigation into the involvement of Russian companies VimpelCom and MTS in corruption during their activity in Uzbekistan, Joinfo.ua reports referring to the Bloomberg agency.
As the newspaper writes, by the assumption of the American authorities, who have joined the investigation launched by the European Union, the funds in question can be source of corruption. VimpelCom and MTS are allegedly involved in illegal activities.
The agency notes that the court received the documents stating that $ 300 million are held in Bank of New York Mellon Corp. in Ireland, Luxembourg and Belgium.
“The U.S. claims VimpelCom Ltd., part-owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, and Mobile TeleSystems OJSC used a web of shell companies and phony consulting contracts to funnel bribes to a close relative of Uzbekistan’s president, Islam Karimov, in exchange for access to that country’s telecommunications market,” the article reads.