14 May 2020 18:11

Uzbekistan receives $10 mln from Gulnara Karimova's French assets

TASHKENT. May 14 (Interfax) - France has transferred to Uzbekistan $10 million from the illegally obtained assets of the first Uzbek president's elder daughter Gulnara Karimova, who was earlier convicted of misappropriation and extortion, the press service of the Uzbek Justice Ministry said.

"As a result of the efforts undertaken by the Justice Ministry and the Prosecutor General's Office with the participation of the relevant agencies of Uzbekistan to secure the return of Karimova's property obtained by illegal methods to the country, assets worth $10 million were returned to Uzbekistan from France on May 14 this year," it said.

This money has been transferred to the country's budget and will be used in accordance with the standard procedure, the press service sad.

All negotiations and steps to return assets are taking place at the official level and in compliance with Uzbek legislation and international law, the ministry said. In particular, the Prosecutor General's Office and the Justice Ministry with the participation of relevant agencies are working together with relevant authorities in Switzerland, the United States, France, Russia, and other countries to secure the return of Karimova's assets worth more than $1.3 billion.

"These assets are not available to Karimova (members of her family), because they have been frozen by the relevant agencies of foreign states. In this context, we once again issue a reminder that allegations that Karimova herself or other individuals can secure the return of property and funds, as some media outlets have reported, are not true," the ministry said.

According to earlier reports, the Tashkent City Court in March increased Karimova's prison sentence to 13 years and four months as part of a new criminal case opened on charges of setting up a criminal community, extortion, and misappropriation.

Karimova was convicted of extortion and tax evasion in August 2015. She was given a ten-year prison term as part of another criminal case on December 18, 2017.

In December 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury included Karimova in its sanctions list under the Global Magnitsky Act. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Karimova led a powerful organized criminal syndicate that involved state institutions in the expropriation of businesses, monopolized markets, elicited bribes, and engaged in extortion.