MTS assets seized by Uzbek authorities

3 Sep 2012

Russian telecom group MTS has suffered yet another blow in Uzbekistan, with local authorities ordering the seizure of all of the assets of its local subsidiary MTS Uzbekistan. MTS took a USD1.1 billion write down last month when the operating licence of MTS Uzbekistan was revoked by local courts. MTS’ Uzbek operation has been the victim of a government-driven shakedown since June this year. Several of the unit’s managers have been imprisoned and the cellco faces a litany of criminal charges from money laundering and tax evasion to regulatory and licence infractions. The Moscow Times cites a spokesperson from the company as saying: ‘The decision… clearly testifies to the intentions of the Uzbek authorities to illegally expropriate MTS’ assets in the shortest possible time frame.’