Gulnara Karimova’s son publishes list of assets confiscated from her in Uzbekistan

Gulnara Karimova’s son publishes list of assets confiscated from her in Uzbekistan
Karimova introducing a gymnastics show at the Universal Sport Palace in Tashkent in 2009.
By bne IntelIiNews May 14, 2020

A grandson of late Uzbek autocrat Islam Karimov has published on his sister Iman’s Instagram page a list of assets confiscated from his mother, Gulnara Karimova, in Uzbekistan.

Karimova, the jailed and disgraced eldest daughter of Karimov, in March received a prison sentence of more than 13 years after she was convicted in a new extortion and embezzlement case. She has been in a Tashkent prison since March last year for allegedly violating the terms of her house arrest—the house arrest was part of a five-year sentence she was given in 2015 on earlier charges of embezzlement and extortion. The current Uzbek government is attempting to seize $1.5bn in foreign assets including luxury properties held by Karimova.

Karimova was once regarded as a possible successor to her father (Credit: OCCRP).

Islam Karimov’s grandson, also named Islam, revealed assets including the Perfectum Mobile mobile operator, Uzbekistan Pochtasi (Uzbekistan Post) and 98 apartments in Tashkent. The assets have been transferred to state ownership. 

The list also includes the MDS medical centre; two private clinics; five restaurants; four cinemas; two sports and spa clubs; duty free retail outlets at Tashkent airport; a network of distribution stores for Levi's, Mango, Benetton and other global brands; more than 20 construction sites; over 20 retail spaces at the centre of the capital; real estate companies; livestock farms and agricultural lands.

Moreover, the assets include Karimova’s shares in the local Korzinka supermarket chain along with companies that own the Gabus, Paynet and UCell brands.

Coca-Cola plant

An appeal from the grandson to Uzbekistan’s current president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev—who succeeded Islam Karimov in late 2016—claims that Mirziyoyev’s government transferred a Coca-Cola plant that used to belong to Karimov to an unnamed “son-in-law” of the incumbent. 

Grandson Karimov alleges that a number of other assets belonging to his mother were taken away without an official court decision and handed over to the son-in-law.

“We have not heard that our cottage, Coca-Cola and other assets were put up for open bidding, as required by law,” the appeal reads. 

Better days. Karimova with former US president Bill Clinton.

Karimov claims that the confiscation of the assets means that his mother had returned $1.2bn to the state, adding that the finance ministry has ignored this fact. Karimova herself has previously cited the $1.2bn figure in asking Mirziyoyev to grant her a release, given her ill health and urgent need for surgery. Karimova said that in return she would stop legally contesting the government’s efforts to confiscate $686mn of her assets frozen by authorities in Switzerland.

Karimova has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the face of all the accusations made against her.