RECORDS REVEAL MONEY TRAIL IN KYRGYZ CORRUPTION SCANDAL
On 29 June, Rferl claimed an exclusive with an article saying that hundreds of financial records leaked by a self-confessed money launderer at the centre of a corruption scandal in Kyrgyzstan have been published, showing how hundreds of millions of dollars linked to a secretive cargo empire were funnelled out of the country over the course of several years. They were from Aierken Saimaiti, a Chinese-born businessman previously based in Kyrgyzstan, prior to his murder in Istanbul in November. An investigation implicated influential former Kyrgyz customs official Raimbek Matraimov in widespread corruption linked to the money Saimaiti moved out of the country, although Matraimov and his family deny any links to Saimaiti or corruption and filed a libel suit over the investigation. Implicated was Khabibula Abdukadyr, a secretive Uyghur businessman with a Kazakh passport who has built a cargo-and-real-estate empire in Central Asia, Europe, UAE, and the US.
KYRGYZ CHARITY RUN BY POWERFUL FAMILY RECEIVED SUSPICIOUS FUNDS LINKED TO MURDERED MONEY LAUNDERER
Linked to the above, a report on OCCRP claims that a charitable foundation run by Kyrgyzstan’s politically powerful Matraimov family received much more money than previously known from an underground network that laundered a vast fortune out of the country, according to newly revealed bank records. It says that the questionable funds represent nearly half of the $1.4 million in donations the Ismail Matraimov Charitable Foundation is publicly known to have received between 2014 and 2019; and that the money appears to have originated in an underground cargo empire run by a Uighur family with the collusion of Kyrgyzstan’s customs service.
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