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Uzbeks Deport Convicted Turkish Businessmen

TASHKENT -- Uzbek authorities have reportedly convicted and deported a group of Turkish businessmen for economic crimes.

Uzbekistan’s state-run television reported on February 21 that nine Turkish citizens had been convicted for “tax evasion and creating a shadow economy.”

The television report said all their property and assets in Uzbekistan have been confiscated.

It said eight of the convicted Turks were amnestied immediately and deported from the country, while one of the convicts, who has an Uzbek residence permit, was sentenced to three years in jail and fined more than $15,000.

Most of the suspects were arrested last year after tax, police, and security forces raided the Turkuaz supermarket in Tashkent.

Uzbekistan has launched a campaign in recent years to eradicate a black market of people using dishonest accounting practices to hide profits.