TeliaSonera's asset frozen pending investigation on corruption on Uzbekistan 3G telephony
Tuesday, 02 October 2012
Swedish prosecutor, Berndt Berger from the Swedish Anti-Corruption Unit
has submitted a request to the Stockholm District Court for the
freezing of Takilants assets in Sweden worth some Skr1.5 billion.
The action is as a result of the investigation of bribery that began
after the Swedish television documentary exposure that TeliaSonera
bought a 3G license from the company Takilant, which is linked to the
daughter of Uzbek dictator, Islam Karimov.
Berger now begs to questions whether Takilant, in general, has had an
Uzbek 3G license at all. It is believed that the whole business deal
has been a type of mafia - like conspiracy to corrupt a dictator in a
country with extremely low human rights record.
Swedish bank, Svenska Handelsbanken, (SHB) has conducted an
investigation on the Uzbek affair and found no evidence that Takilant
Ltd. held a license," writes, the Swedish daily, Svenska Dagbladet.
However, Irene Krohn, press officer at Telia, reiterates the company's
position that Takilant was the real owner of the mobile telephony
license in Uzbekistan.
"We are completely confident Takilant are the rightful owners of this license," she told the paper.
Prosecutor, Gunnar Stetler, leading the investigation, has also taken
the decision to freeze $30 million in a bank account belonging to the
firm, reports Swedish news agency TT. The asset is believes to belong
to criminal operations and this is mostly cash in the bank. Some
authorities feel that it might have been money siphoned from Uzbekistan
and seeking a save haven to keep. Uzbekistan among other things is also
a very corrupt country.
Takilants account with $30 million has thus bee blocked by the bank Nordea.
"A person in recognized the name Takilant when he saw the (TV) program
and acted quickly. Takilant opened an account with us here in Sweden in
2011 and since then over a couple rounds they deposited a total of $30
million," said Jan Larsson, CIO at Nordea to the Swedish daily Svenska
The investigation into the supposedly corrupt operations by Telia continues
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