Deputy drinking vodka with 'boss of the Uzbek mafia' detained for involvement in international smuggling gang 

Deputy drinking vodka with 'boss of the Uzbek mafia' detained for involvement in international smuggling gang
Deputy Asylbek uulu Damirbek did not deny his acquaintance with Salim Abduvaliev

The security operation detained 33 people, who had hefty amounts of money in different currencies, jewelry, documents and customs declarations.

Kazakhstan conducted a major special operation to nab a gang of smugglers, among the members of which was a deputy of the Kyrgyz parliament, complicit in another scandal. The special operation aimed at rounding up the suspects was held on February 15 and 16 by the National Security Committee in liaison with the National Bureau for Countering Corruption of Kazakhstan. The Prosecutor General's Office of Kazakhstan initiated a criminal case, all materials of which are highly classified. However, the media reported that in addition to employees of customs and law enforcement agencies, brokers, intermediaries and representatives of criminal circles, Kyrgyz deputy Asylbek uulu Damirbek was detained. Totaled up, 33 people were detained and arrested, including three Kyrgyz citizens. The Kazakh Ministry of Internal Affairs corroborated this information.

"Smuggling came from China directly, as well as through Kyrgyzstan, using shadow schemes of customs administration and forged documents. The suspects were assisted by individual officials of customs and border guard services, providing customs clearance at reduced rates and cargo escorting. The goods were sent to the major cities of Kazakhstan and Russia. The persons involved in smuggling attempted to obtain protection from special and law enforcement agencies by transferring large monetary rewards," the Prosecutor General's Office of Kazakhstan said. The searches led to a significant amount of money in national and foreign currencies, jewelry, documents and customs declarations being confiscated. Two vehicles with smuggled cargo were stopped.

The day before the media published a video depicting the detained deputy posing for a photo with one of the richest people and influential businessmen of Uzbekistan, Salim Abduvaliev, known in the criminal environment as Bay and Salim-aka. The hammered men talk about the friendship of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. In 2007, the US ambassador called him 'the boss of the Uzbek mafia' in diplomatic correspondence. In 2013, Abduvaliev fled Uzbekistan to London amid a criminal case against MTS-Uzbekistan's CEO Bekhzod Akhmedov. After the death of President Islam Karimov in 2016, Salibay Abduvaliev returned to Uzbekistan. Later he became Deputy Chairman of the National Olympic Committee.


Deputy Asylbek uulu Damirbek (rightmost)

Deputy Asylbek uulu Damirbek confirmed later that he was really acquainted with Salim Abduvaliev, but noted that the video publicized had been filmed about four years ago.

Asylbek uulu Damirbek is a member of the acting committee on constitutional legislation, state structure, judicial and legal issues and parliamentary regulations. He is the Deputy Chairman of the committee. He is master of sports of international class in Greco-Roman wrestling. He is the first Vice-President of the Wrestling Federation of Kyrgyzstan and Vice-President of the Asian Council for Sports Wrestling AAWC. Until 2015 he was a member of the top management of cellular companies.

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