AKIPRESS.COM - The United States expressed its disappointment at the release of organized crime boss Raimbek Matraimov.
"We would note that Matraimov is the subject of U.S. State Department and Treasury Department Global Magnitsky and visa sanctions for his participation in a corrupt customs scheme in which at least $700 million was laundered from the Kyrgyz Republic, funds which could have been used by the Kyrgyz government for priorities such as health care, education, agriculture, and pensions. The United States remains committed to freezing his criminal assets overseas and returning them to the Kyrgyz people," the statement issued by the U.S. Embassy said.
Cooperation between U.S. and Kyrgyz law enforcement officials to combat organized crime and corruption is ongoing.
"In relation to Matraimov, we are working together with Kyrgyz law enforcement to identify properties and financial interests owned by Matraimov that could be frozen under the requirements of the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The 2019 return by the United States of $4.5 million of Maksim Bakiev’s corrupt money is evidence of U.S. commitment to fight corruption and return stolen assets to the Kyrgyz people," said the statement.
Probe against former Deputy Chairman of State Customs Service Raimbek Matraimov was terminated and he was released from prison.
Matraimov was detained on February 18, 2021 for money laundering. The criminal probe was launched against him following the journalist investigation by the Azattyk Media, which said Matraimov has expensive property in Dubai.
"However, according to the official documents from authorities of these countries, Matarimov and members of his family do not have any movable or immovable property. It means the arguments stated in the mentioned journalistic report were not confirmed and the investigation has not received evidence confirming the Matraimovs assets outside the Kyrgyz Republic," the State National Security Committee said.
In December 2020, the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury announced sanctions and visa restrictions for Matraimov due to his involvement in significant corruption while acting in his official capacity.