In August 2012, the Lausanne-based magazine “L’Hebdo” reported that two Uzbek citizens were arrested in Geneva on corruption offenses. The Swiss Federal Ministry seized more than 700 million Swiss francs deposed at the private bank “Lombard Odier” and 80 million at Credit Suisse, Bordier & Cie and Union Bancaire Privée.
According to “L’Hebdo”, Karimov’s daughter Gulnara Karimova had used her power to extort hundreds of million from international companies that would have liked to penetrate the Uzbek market, amongst them communication enterprises such as TeliaSonera (Sweden), VimpelCom (Russia) and MTS (Russia).
In March 2015, the U.S. asked Switzerland to freeze parts of these funds. In June 2015, the Swiss Department of Justice did the same for assets worth 300 million US dollars in Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg. By providing payments to the Karimov clan, the companies allegedly violated U.S. American market laws were some funds are listed. U.S. American law allows for the seizure of corrupted assets wherever they are.
The seizure of the accounts provoked the fall of Gulnara Karimova, who formerly sang “Le ciel se tait” with the famous French actor Gérard Dépardieu. Karimov is said to have reacted with the disappearance of his oldest daughter. She was not seen since her return in Tashkent and is said to be under arrest.
A lawyer charged with the issue in Geneva (he wanted to keep anonymity) presumes that since then, there has been a change in the ownership and the shareholders ordered by Tashkent in favor of Karimov’s second daughter Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva and her husband Timur Tillyaev. In order to regain some kind of legitimacy for the sake of getting the money back, the Uzbek State sacrificed Karimova, the lawyer explained.
On January 4, 2016, the Uzbek Minister of Justice Muzraf Ikramov wrote to the U.S. American judge in charge that the domestic authorities had started processes against the corrupters, emphasizing that the funds had to be returned to Uzbekistan. In a next step, the Geneva-based lawyer predicts, Uzbekistan will try to demand the Swiss authorities on this matter.
The day Tashkent will finally contact the Swiss officials, they will surely find someone to address this incredible plea: In the name of justice, the money stolen from the Uzbek people by the daughter should now be returned to the father.