Looking for Gulnara 86

This video is in Russian but is pretty self-explanatory. While in Geneva we decided to look for Gulnara Karimova’s US25 million dollar home, to see how the proceeds of forced child labour are spent.


Regular readers will recall the EU Commission insisted to me there is “no reliable evidence” of what is in truth the use of millions of forced child labourers in the Uzbek state owned cotton plantations. I was also interested to see if there was any activity surrounding the large underground concrete vaults established under the rear of the garden behind Gulnara’s house three years ago at a cost of eight million dollars. I detailed in Murder in Samarkand that the Karimov’s loot Uzbekistan’s large state-owned gold industry in stealing physical gold, some of which is fenced through Gulnara’s jewellery business, but most of which is stored as collateral.

The Karimovs had lost a certain amount of faith in the Swiss banking system’s ability or willingness to protect their money in all circumstances, so have started storing the physical gold in the vaults under Gulnara’s back garden on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Their faith in the Swiss banking system was further damaged a few months ago when Gulnara’s erstwhile business partner Bekzond Akhmedov absconded with US 312 million dollars she regarded as hers but which was held in his name. Akhmedov is so hated by the Karimov’s they now even associate him with me, which is definitely the seventh circle of hell in their world-view. Hence Gulnara’s extraordinary attack on me:

For example yesterday in Geneva, on the first day of spring, we had another “support team” visiting us, those who are always ready to work off their payments while not having anything else to do, any other interests, hobbies or a properly paid job. A group of a few people including a cameraman, a lady of Uzbek origin Mutabar Tadjibaeva, who introduces herself as a president of the «Club des Coeurs Ardents» and guess who else? Exactly! Craig Murray – ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan, who had been scandalously fired from the British Foreign Office. He lived in Tashkent for a long time and had a relationship and even got married to a strip-bar dancer, he lobbied so-called businessmen including those from Pakistan willing to get cotton and other state contracts, those people had contacts with different Uzbek clan representatives including Bekzod Akhmedov. Akhmedov was seen many times in Craig Murray and his pseudo businessmen’s company in dens of iniquity of the capital, Bekzod Akhmedov’s favorite venues. It seems like the group of people that visited us in Geneva wanted to congratulate us with spring and express their grievance by screaming and as they said they wanted me or my sister Lola to come out. They attempted to sneak inside and walk around the house recording it all on video and we had nothing to do, but call the police and make our own video of this March invasion of “human right defenders” as they call themselves.

As I have never met Mr Akhmedov, or any Pakistani businessmen, or been involved in cotton trading, I think I have a pretty watertight case to sue Gulnara for libel. Unfortunately the lawyers I approached want £30,000 down. Our libel laws exist to protect the rich from exposure by the honest, not to protect the honest from the malice of the rich. If any lawyer reading wants to take this on pro bono, I should be delighted.

Talking of protection of the rich, Mutabar Tadjibaeva was eventually questioned by Swiss police for three hours over the “incident” in the video. I assure you nothing else happened other than what you see here. This is appalling harassment by the Swiss authorities. It is also racially aggravated harassment. The Uzbek Mission in Switzerland made the complaint by name equally against Mutabar and me, but the Swiss police chose only to harass the more vulnerable Mutabar, a survivor of severe torture in Uzbekistan. Truly disgraceful behaviour by the Swiss authorities.

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86 thoughts on “Looking for Gulnara

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  • Komodo

    Re. the fragrant Googoo – hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, eh? Keep scorning, Craig, keep your accusations factual, and ignore hers. That will irritate her profoundly, and it is the behaviour expected of an Englishman (sorry) when dealing with the wily Pathan or Uzbek. Do not succumb to the temptation to wager the moral high ground against several millions in gold cash down. This would be to descend to her own venal not to say corrupt (for fear of her lawyers) level.

  • Max

    sorry then. You maybe right. Considering – all existing ex-soviet apparatchiks – now “independent state” leaders were connected to former KGB, and now FSB. Whatever organization they belong to, their ultimate purpose is to plunder and exploit resources. They are doing well. And terrorism argument is coming in hand quite easily.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    … and the British Uzbek Society? Anyone know any more about it? Is it devoted to the study of folk costumery, or the music of the important Bokharan Jewish community (both of which I woiuld recommend, btw)?

  • Komodo

    The 2009 newsletter of the BUS gives its UK address as:

    Stubbs Hill Farm,
    Slutshole Lane,
    NR17 2LS

    No sniggering at the back, please.
    The current resident is apparently someone called Philip Wing Landscaping.

  • Gary

    Excellent post. Oxus Gold shareholders are still trying to seek compensation for the theft of gold that has sadly gone to fund probably the most ridulous pop career the world has ever seen.

  • Komodo

    Oxus Gold’s metallurgist, in jail since 2011 and denied appeal. Other links on this site confirm the impression that Karimov encourages investment by foreign firms, screws them royally and then harasses their employees …


  • Komodo

    I’m surprised anyone can be induced to trade with Uzbekistan, Gary. Only the terminally optimistic would think that the voraciously greedy nutjob in charge of the whole system would allow them to make a profit. If I were BUS, I’d be lobbying Cameron for armed intervention on behalf of the anti-Karimov faction, regime change, and the institution, if not of democratic reforms, then at least of a viable commercial environment. What he’s doing is no more subtle than catching (marine) crabs. Put the bait – an enormous goldfield – in the pot. Lower pot to where crabs are. Wait for crab, extract crab, prise gold from crab’s claws, eat crab.

  • Komodo

    I needed an off-topic laugh, sorry.
    “Some locals believe drinking the slightly saline water of Issyk Kul has health benefits. But, there is a uranium tailing pond on the south shore, that likely runs off into the lake.” (Wikitravel: Issyk Kul, Kazakhstan)

  • Gary

    I would agree Komodo. When I first went out there, it was Oxus Mining. It was 1997. Although I was always aware that it was a corrupt regime it really deteriorated from 2000 onwards. Initially it was felt that as long as you played by the JV rules you could earn a decent return. By the time Criag moved to Tashkent it was very much more sincester. Almost like a low tech 1984. The regime appeared to use Islamic unrest as an excuse to take a iron grip on society and with it use the country as a personal bank account. By this time it was obvious you were going to get ripped off once the CAPEX had been sunk. They would force you into bankruptcy and set up a new JV with someone else. So your point about greed and naviety is quite right.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Interesting, thanks for the info. on the BUS.

    ‘Slutshole Farm’ – a lot of places had names like that before the Victorians changed the names. Lovers’ lanes often were called something much more evocative; Shag Crescent, Cunt Close, Cock Drive, Hump Hill – that kind of thing. It was very ‘Benny Hill’, actually. Imagine having an address like that nowadays! Well, I suppose ‘Maidenhead’ is fairly explicit.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Interesting to see that the Swedes have decided to prosecute the Uzbek couple who helped an assassin kill anti-Kerimov inman Nazarov about five years ago- what will put pressure on Putin to cough up the assailant who has been captured by Moscow.

    What happens to the suspected assassin will show just how deep Putin’s marriage of convenience with Islam Kerimov is.

    I f the suspect goes to Sweden, he could tell a lot about just how long and deep the dictator’s links to Washington go in order to gain leniency.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Wrong about when the shooting took place.

    It was in February 2012 just after Washington had resumed supplying Uzbekistan with aid after years of denying it because of its civil rights record.

    Seems Karimov didn’t want the inman exploiting the U-turn among his exiles for purely selfish American interests.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Find this lack of interest in how Islam Karimov really got started with the CIA, as a Western plant within the Uzbek Communist leadership who would take over during the collapse of the USSR in the wake of the planned non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War, really baffling.

    The only problem with the plan was that Moscow learned about it, and took appropriate counter measures to prevent it from breaking out – what would have resulted in the USSR win inning it.

    Gorbachev, the new Soviet leader, was so alarmed by what almost happened that he adopted the reforms the West wanted, thinking that with Karimov’s help, he could save the Union, only to discover that Karimov was out to destroy it, and he did.

    Then what happened became Washington’s model for regime change, explaining why it didn’t give the coup de grace to Saddam in 1990, expecting some Shia leader to do it, and grooming Bo Xilia in China for the same role.

  • joseph templeton

    I am a lawyer. I am not a defamation lawyer.

    My first thought was that it is such a bizarre attack that it is not obviously defamatory. (I’m being polite here: I’m ignoring some allegations that I believe may be true.)

    Having read your comment – to ‘N_’ – that (a) the author believes Mr Akhmedov to be bad and (b) that diplomats should not lobby for cotton contracts I remain unconvinced.

    Unless Mr Alhmedov is bad and readers know it, it is not defamatory to assert that you have fraternised with him. The author’s belief is irrelevant (although quaere whether this is different in the case of malicious fslsehood as opposed to defamation – I don’t know if it is, but even if it is, I don’t see the actionable damage). There is no such thing as attempted defamation.

    As to cotton, the article is so garbled that I am not sure it actually means to me that you were lobbying for cotton contracts (whether in the company of Pakistani businessmen or not). It does appear to say that you lobbied Pakistani businessmen. If readers with local knowledge would be better placed to understand a meaning that you were using your position for improper business purposes that might, I suppose, found a case, but it is not obvious that this is so – and I would guess damages would on that hypothesis be affected by the number of readers who have this kind of knowledge.

    I’m afraid I must stress that this is not legal advice, but musings – sorry.


    PS Hope Burnes is going well.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    More to the point is the apparent postponement of the trial of the couple who helped Yuri Zhokovsky assassinate Inman Nazarov.

    Let’s hope in the interim that his suppouters, especially Mutabar, inspect his library.

    A copy of The Koran which DCI William Casey had translated into Uzbek in 1985, and some kind of inscription in it, especially from Islam himself, could blow anty open trial sky high in Sundsvall.

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