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Majlis Podcast: Kyrgyzstan’s Kings Of Corruption


A recently released report by RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service, known locally as Azattyk, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), and its Kyrgyz member center Kloop, details an elaborate scheme involving Kyrgyzstan’s Customs Service that saw hundreds of millions of dollars of alleged ill-gotten gains transferred outside the country.

The names that appear most in the report are Raimbek Matraimov, the former deputy chief of Kyrgyzstan’s Customs Service, and a shadowy Chinese-born Uyghur businessman named Khabibula Abdukadyr. Another name appearing is Chinese-born Uyghur Aierkan Saimaiti, the source of much of the information in the report. He was killed in Istanbul on November 10.

With officials in Kyrgyzstan already scrambling to deal with the fallout from the publication, RFE/RL's Media-Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir moderated a discussion on the tremors the report is unleashing on Kyrgyzstan’s political scene.

Participating from Bosnia was Ilya Lozovsky, managing editor at the OCCRP. Joining the talk from the Boston area was Bakyt Beshimov, professor at Northeastern University, a former Kyrgyz ambassador to the OSCE, and a former deputy in the country’s parliament. I’m always happy to talk about Kyrgyz politics, so I pitched in a couple of comments also.

Majlis Podcast: Kyrgyzstan’s Kings Of Corruption
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About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Bruce Pannier
Bruce Pannier

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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