06 Dec 2019
A member of the Kyrgyzstan Parliament is proposing further government investigation following reports by OCCRP and its media partners that the country has harbored money laundering that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and has cost the lives of currency couriers crossing its borders.
Maksat Sabirov on Thursday proposed giving the task to the “relevant parliamentary committees” so they could “consider the facts.” Sabirov also said President Sooronbai Jeenbekov and the government should respond to the investigation, OCCRP’s Kyrgyz media partner Kloop reported.
Kloop said most Kyrgyz media outlets have failed to meaningfully report on the investigation.
Official reaction from Kyrgyz authorities has been a mixture of denial, acceptance, and — at least in the case of the parliamentarian — calls for further investigation.
The Kyrgyz Ministry of Internal Affairs has issued statements refuting the connection of murdered courier Khufur Aburaheman to murdered money launderer Aierkin Saimaiti.
However, a joint investigation by RFE/RL’s Radio Azattyk, OCCRP, and Kloop notes that Samaiti told reporters before his murder that Abduraheman and another courier, Khusan Kerimov, both worked for him. In fact, it was Kerimov’s death and the discovery of his body in the trunk of his car at Bishkek airport that led Saimati to share key documents with reporters.
The ministry did not deny that Kerimov may have been a courier for Saimaiti. Kloop says police previously reported that Kerimov was involved in the delivery of “parcels.”
Samat Isabekov, a former official who had been responsible for internal investigations at Manas International Airport, was quoted in the investigation saying that couriers smuggled US$30 million to $40 million into China weekly.
By Nicholas Flynt, OCCRP, 5 December 2019
Read more at OCCRP
RiskScreen: Eliminating Financial Crime with Smart Technology
Advance your CPD minutes for this content, by signing up and using the CPD WalletFREE CPD Wallet