Another foreign telecoms firm appears to have been paying millions of dollars to various charities in Uzbekistan, some of them linked to Gulnara Karimova, strongman Islam Karimov’s flamboyant daughter. The revelations come in the wake of reports that Nordic telecoms giant TeliaSonera paid Karimova’s charities to stop harassment from Uzbek officials.
Russia's Beeline funneled about $3 million to various charities in Uzbekistan last year, the company has said, some of them linked to Karimova’s Fund Forum group of charities. Beeline did not forget its “social obligations,” Andrey Safronyuk, general director of Unitel, a Beeline subsidiary in Uzbekistan, said in remarks quoted by the semi-official Uzdaily.uz website on May 28.
Citing Beeline’s press service, Uzdaily.uz reported that the company spent 6 billion sums ($2.9 million at the official exchange rate) on charity and sponsorships in 2012.
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