Uzbekistan strikes Gafur Cherny off wanted list

Uzbekistan strikes Gafur Cherny off wanted list
Gafur Rakhimov

At the same time, the Head of the International Boxing Association, Gafur Rakhimov, is still subject to US sanctions.

The General Prosecutor's Office of Uzbekistan has excluded acting President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Gafur Rakhimov, known as Gafur Cherny, from the list of wanted persons. This is reported by Gazeta.uz with reference to sources in law enforcement agencies. 

The Interior Ministry of the Republic declared the 67-year-old sports functionary and businessman wanted in June this year. It was reported that he was suspected of extortion committed on an especially large scale, the legalization of proceeds from criminal activity and the use of a forged document.

The Prosecutor General's Office changed the measure of restraint for Rakhimov in the form of arrest in absentia to a recognizance to behave. He was declared wanted as the whereabouts of the Head of the sports federation included in the International Olympic Committee was unknown. According to the publication, the measure of restraint of Rakhimov was changed due to the fact that he himself began to cooperate with the investigation. In addition, he is now allowed to visit Uzbekistan. 

To recap, in 2012 the US Treasury marked Gafur Rakhimov down as a member of a criminal organization consisting of people from the USSR, called Brother's Circle. Rakhimov was on par with such crime lords as Zakhary Kalashov, Vasily Khristoforov, Kamchibek Kolbayev, Lasha and Kakhaber Shushanashvili, and many others. 

In December 2017 OFAC included Gafur Rakhimov in the sanctions list within the fight against transnational Eurasian criminal groups. 

Russian law enforcers have known Rakhimov since the nineties as the leader of an interregional gang, which kept in touch with the now-killed thieves in law Yaponchik and Ded Khasan. Abroad, Gafur Cherny was first learned about as an "Uzbek drug baron" in 1998. After reports in several European media, the French authorities even denied his visa and expelled him from the country. In 2000, Gafurov, who was already Vice-President of the Olympic Council of Asia from the Central Asian region, was banned to enter Sydney for the Summer Olympic Games. 

Nevertheless, at the beginning of this year, Rakhimov temporarily headed AIBA. The permanent President of the organization should be elected at the congress of the Association in November 2018 in Moscow. 

On May 1, Rakhimov applied to the US Treasury to exclude his name from the sanctions list. In the statement, Gafur Rakhimov stressed that he had never been associated with any organized criminal groups and he had never been charged and, moreover, found guilty of any crime in any country. 

In addition, after a long report on the website of The CrimeRussia about Rakhimov (IOC vs. Gafur Cherny), his representatives contacted the publication. But, unfortunately, they refused to provide their official position regarding the published information. 

Since 1998 Gafur Rakhimov has been a member of the Executive Committee of AIBA. Since 2001 he worked as the Vice-President of the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan, in 2005 he was re-elected to this post, in 2012 the National Olympic Committee terminated his authority before the appointed time in connection with the change of citizenship. The same decision regarding Rakhimov was made by the National Boxing Federation.

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