Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-239
Gulnara Karimova / Swiss asset recovery case
Uzbekistan
Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan to UN Mission in Geneva; daughter of President of Uzbekistan
Switzerland
Undertaking Recovery Effort; Location of Recovery Effort; Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
2012
Ongoing
Art.16, Art.18, Art.23
Yes
Criminal prosecution and forfeiture
MLAT
Ongoing
Investigation/Asset Tracing/Asset Restraint
$825,000,000

According to a press statement by the Public Ministry of the Swiss Confederation, a criminal investigation had been launched against Ms. Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of the Uzbek president, on suspicion of money laundering.  The Ministry stated that it had commenced its criminal investigation in July 2012 following a communication from the Reporting Office for Money Laundering (MROS), initially against four Uzbek nationals alleged to be involved in corrupt activities in the Uzbek telecom sector.   Over 800 million Swiss francs were frozen in Switzerland.  As part of its investigation, the Public Ministry has sent legal requests for assistance to several countries and is the source of several searches in France which took place during the summer of 2013 and triggered on-site investigations. Furthermore, based on a mutual legal assistance request by Switzerland, the Swedish prosecution authorities have also taken action by opening a corruption investigation in connection with various acquisitions of a Swedish company on the Uzbek telecommunications market.  In late August 2013, the Ministry searched, with the help of the Federal Judicial Police and the Geneva police, Ms. Karimova's villa in Geneva to gather new evidence.  The statement also noted that in her capacity as Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, Ms. Karimova had benefited from diplomatic immunity until last summer."   (Source:  Ministère public de la Confédération, "La fille du président ouzbek dans la ligne de mire de la justice suisse," March 14, 2014; See also, Swiss Office of Federal Police Annual Report 2014, at 29.)

According to a press statement by the Swiss Public Ministry, the money laundering investigation against Ms. Karimova was initiated in 2013. (Source:  Ministère public de la Confédération, "La fille du président ouzbek dans la ligne de mire de la justice suisse," March 14, 2014)

Ministère public de la Confédération; Office of Federal Police; Geneva authorities; Money Laundering Reporting Office