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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.
"The 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 Dagbladet.

The investigation into the supposedly corrupt operations by Telia continues Team

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