Prosecutors: MTS rewarded managers for participation in illegal schemes

Tashkent, Uzbekistan ( -- Prosecutor General’s Office of Uzbekistan continues the investigation of criminal proceedings against officials of Uzdunrobita (a subsidiary of Russian telecommunications company MTS).

Prosecutor General’s Office stated that investigation revealed new violations of legislation of Uzbekistan.

It said that regional branches of Uzdunrobita, which were independent legal entities, operated without license based on license issued to headquarters. In line with the legislation, it is banned to hand over license from one legal entity to another.

Prosecutor General’s Office noted that the damage to the government made up 418.266 billion soums due to non-payment of state duty for licenses for conducting activities of mobile radiotelephone (mobile) communication, rendering international telecommunication network services, designing, constructing, exploiting and rendering telecommunication services, designing, constructing and rendering data transfer services, exploitation and rendering services on distribution of television and radio programmes in 2008-2012.

Besides, Uzdunrobita head Behzod Ahmedov and others illegally rendered goods, works and services for 306.683 billion soums through regional branches, violating law on payment for supplied goods (works, services) to vendors.

Facts of violation of tax legislation were also confirmed during inspection of regional branches of Uzdunrobita, Prosecutor General’s Office said.

In particular, in 2008-2011 management of Samarkand branch of Uzdunrobita S.Rakhimov in cooperation with officials from headquarters, included part of employees to specially created firms Farruh Aloqa Service and Asat through falsification ofreports to tax bodies. With this move, the company decreased number of employees at regional branch and illegally used preferences, provided to small businesses. In the result, the company did not pay US$34.628 billion soums as taxes and other mandatory payments.

Prosecutor General’s Office said overall, investigation of Samarkand regional branch of Uzdunrobita revealed that the damage from tax and mandatory evasion made up 64.673 billion soums, activities without license – 55.15 billion soums. There were also other crimes.

S. Rakhumov was officially charged on 23 July 2012 and he was included to international list of wanted persons.

Prosecutor General’s Office stated that similar facts have been also revealed at other regional branches of Uzdunrobita.

Prosecutor General’s Office said that it received materials that MTS transferred US$5.4 million as monthly salaries of top management of Uzdunrobita – Behzod Ahmedov, T. Alimov, A.Mirzamoydinov and others – to their accounts at Moscow Bank for Reconstruction and Development, nominally registering them as employees of head office of MTS. At the same time, MTS bought a villa in elite cottage village “Gorki-8” near Rublevo-Uspensk highway in Moscow as bonus.

Investigators believe that additional regular payments and expensive gifts, hidden from tax bodies of Uzbekistan, are form of illegal remuneration of top managers of its subsidiaries for participation in execution illegal economic schemes, directed at laundering criminal income and receiving uncontrolled income.

At the same time, Prosecutor General’s Office said that changed the measure of restraint for Radik Dautov, Acting Director General of Uzdunrobita, on requests of Russian Foreign Ministry and Embassy of Russia in Uzbekistan.

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