What do you do when assets stolen from a country’s state coffers by corrupt individuals have been recovered and can now be returned to the country – but the government is still controlled by corrupt people? That’s the case of Uzbekistan, one of the most corrupt countries in the world. It scores just 21 out of 100 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, indicating rampant corruption in the public sector.
In 2015, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) found that three companies subject to American law had paid bribes of almost US$1 billion to Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of the now deceased Uzbek president Islam Karimov, as a way to enter the Uzbek telecommunications market. Gulnara Karimova deposited the payments in bank accounts in Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Now, the money is frozen pending the resolution of the DOJ cases.
But the question remains: what should be done