Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Top Uzbekistan Government Officials To Crime Boss

Posted by Info on 14/01/2011

WikiLeaks says high-ranking government ministers in Uzbekistan had close ties to a notorious crime boss.

The March 2006 communique sent by then U.S. Ambassador Jon R. Purnell says the embassy had obtained video footage of lavish parties thrown by relatives of an alleged mafia chief and attended by the wives of several government ministers.
The cable named the crime boss as Salim Abduvaliyev, a man described by Russian crime experts as being a former wrestling champion who consolidated Uzbek organized crime groups in the 1990s and acquired various businesses in former Soviet republics.
Such accusations of high-level corruption could affect U.S. dealings with Uzbekistan, which acts as an essential transit point for nonmilitary supplies to troops posted in Afghanistan.

Uzbekistan, an impoverished and secretive Muslim nation of 27 million, has been ruled by uncompromising President Islam Karimov since the Soviet Union fell in 1991. Graft under him has been allowed to flourish, with Transparency International ranking the country as among the world’s most corrupt nations.

The country allows the United States to use its territory as a land route for the transit of noncombat supplies to neighbouring Afghanistan for the U.S. and NATO war effort.

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