Uzbek Authorities Seek To Freeze €50M From Gulnara Karimova

Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of late Uzbek former president Islam Karimov, has been remanded in custody following a 2015 conviction for extortion and embezzlement and is being investigated for more crimes, the Uzbek Prosecutor General’s office said on Friday.

Among the assets the Uzebek authorities are seeking to freeze is her US$48.8 million private jet in Malta, according to a statement from Uzbek Prosecutor General’s office.

According to prosecutors, the jet in Malta is small change compared to the overall US$1.5 billion of her global assets the Uzbek authorities are seeking to have frozen.

Other assets include cash and property in Switzerland and London, and villas in Chateau de Groussay and Saint Tropez in France.

The announcement is the first official word on the fate of Karimova, 45, who disappeared from public view in 2014 after apparently falling out with her father, who ran the Central Asian nation with an iron fist for 27 years.

Karimova was once seen as a powerful businesswoman and politician and a potential successor to her father.

Where she has been since disappearing in 2014 is unclear and the authorities have been tight-lipped about it even after Karimov’s death from a stroke last September.

Swiss prosecutors have investigated Karimova for money laundering since 2014.

The Uzbek prosecutor’s office said that in 2015 Karimova had been sentenced to five years’ probation – a measure equal to house arrest in Uzbek law – for acquiring through extortion or embezzlement stakes in a number of companies, and for tax evasion.

It was not immediately apparent whether Karimova was involved in any companies in Malta, according to this newspaper’s research.

Karimova is also being investigated on charges of fraud, evading customs and foreign exchange regulations, and money laundering, and was in custody pending a trial.

In addition to the private jet located in Malta, Uzebekistan is also seeking to freeze:

In Switzerland: US$777.8 million in cash and a villa in Coloni worth 18.5 million Swiss francs;

In Sweden: US$ 30 million in cash;

In the UK: GBP4.2 million and homes, apartments and villas worth GBP22.9 million;

In France: Apartments in Paris, a chateau in Santoré and villas worth a total of €52.5 million;

In Latvia: Cash and securities of US$16.5 million and an entertainment center in Riga worth €9 million;

In Ireland: Cash and securities worth US$300 million;

In Germany: €2 million in cash;

In Russia: US$ 6 million in cash, a Moscow penthouse, a mansion and eight apartments in Rublyovka, a hotel complex, a house and a plot of land worth $2 million.

In Hong Kong: US$67 million in cash, and a penthouse worth US$ 15 million;

In the United Arab Emirates: $32 million in cash, gold and gold certificates worth US$31.5 million, a penthouse, two villas, and two hotel complexes in Dubai with a total value of US$ 67.4 million.

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