As many as 60 alleged associates of Uzbekistan’s first daughter have been convicted of financial fraud and sentenced to long prison terms recently.
Those involved reportedly include managers, bookkeepers, and other employees of three industrial facilities with ties to Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of President Islam Karimov, an Uzbek official told RFE/RL.
The official from the Ferghana region who didn’t want to be named said the defendants were members of a criminal group led by Karimova.
“The official’s account was confirmed by an unidentified Ferghana Regional Court official cited by Russian news agency RIA Novosti on January 13,” RFE/RL said.
Karimova, 42, has been under house arrest for corruption since September. In 2013, she moved from a $20 million mansion in Switzerland to a home in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.
The one-time fashion designer and socialite was seen as a possible successor to her father, who’s 76. But documents surfaced during an investigation last year by journalists that appeared to show evidence of $300 million in bribes to Karimova from Swedish telecom giant TeliaSonera.
She was also criticized after dissidents who occupied her Geneva mansion found more than 60 paintings and objects pilfered from Uzbekistan’s state art museums.
Uzbek prosecutors said in September last year that “Karimova…may have used administrative levers and provided the ‘corruption element’ for members of an organized [criminal] group.”
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.