As reported via social networks; on January 6th Uzbekistan State Custom warehouse suddenly stopped processing and clearing of parcels and mail arrived in the country via private mail couriers such as DHL, FedEx, Atlantic Express.
Reportedly; one of the DHL representatives in Tashkent said in an interview to radio “Ozodlik” that the Customs Service stopped clearing the items because they expect to receive new regulations. There is no official information regarding the new regulation but it is expected, the agent said, that new taxation rules will be imposed on imported goods that have value exceeding $1000.
This information was also confirmed by a representative of the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan in Tashkent airport in an interview to “Ozodlik” radio.
However, the representative could not explain why the custom clearance is frozen without any official order by the government?
Interestingly, though that the State post service continues normal operation. Representative of the Department of international shipments clearance of Uzbekistan Post service confirmed in an interview to “Ozodlik” radio that custom clearance for international parcels arriving via Uzbekistan Post Service channels are being processed as usually and only the parcels arriving via private mail companies are placed on hold at the custom warehouse.
Miranda Patrucić, who is is a lead investigative reporter with the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo and Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, has shared with Radio “Ozodlik”some documents showing that; In 2005, the Uzbek government has announced a tender, put up for sale shares of State Enterprise “Uzbekistan Post”. The tender was postponed twice. But in the end a company Phoenix Ltd., owned by Gulnara Karimova has won the tender. Registered in Hong Kong in the name of Ekaterina Klyueva, a proxy of Gulnara Karimova, the company buys 25.4% of shares of “Uzbekistan Post” in February 2007 at the price of $ 2.6 million. A few months later, in June 2007, the management of “Uzbekistan Post” informed “Interfax” agency about additional 9.44% of shares sold to the the company Phoenix Ltd. So in total, Phoenix Ltd holds at least 34.8% of Uzbekistan State Post shares.
Miranda Patrucić said that she has financial documents showing that the Phoenix Ltd. belongs to Gulnara Karimova. However, Ms. Patrucić does not know in whose possession the Uzbekistan Post shares are now.
In February last year, Ekaterina Klyueva was arrested along with Gayane Avakian and Rustam Madumarov. Since then, the fate of Klyueva remains unknown.
Representatives of the “Uzbekistan Post” did not provide “Ozodlik” radio with answer for a question about who is currently in possession of the shares held by the company Phoenix Ltd.