18 Apr 2011

Kyrgyz Government to Open Investigation over Alleged Corruption in Megacom

Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva, successor to the deposed Kurmanbek Bakayev, has decided to create a special investigation team to research alleged financial misdeeds at the country’s largest communications services provider, Megacom.

MegaCom, whose majority shareholder is the Russian firm Eventis Telecom, is currently being run be Telecom’s representative Andrei Silich, who fled Kyrgyzstan in January before a criminal investigation over embezzlement was begun. According to Silich, the case against him has since been dropped, allowing him to come back to MegaCom.

The Kyrgyz government’s appointed supervisor of MegaCom, Azamat Murzaliev, claims that the Kyrgyz financial police have evidence that Silich embezzled $3 million from MegaCom’s abroad. Furthermore, Murzaliev claimed that Silich forced himself back into power after returning to Kyrgyzstan. A parliamentary deputy, Iskhak Pirmatov (Respublika Party), stated that a parliamentary investigation revealed that Eventis Telecom had taken over $27 million from MegaCom since April 2010.

The problems between Eventis Telecom and MegaCom have not escaped the scrutiny of the Russian Duma, either, as Aleksei Ostrovsky and Semyon Bagdasarov, deputies in the Duma, stated that the campaign led by Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov to deprive Russian businessmen of their [stake in MegaCom] is having a negative impact on Russian-Kyrgyz relations.

For the original story from Radio Free Europe, please click here.

The picture of Roza Otunbayeva is property of The Telegraph in the UK