Russian-backed cellco MTS Uzbekistan has begun bankruptcy proceedings and has started to lay off employees, reports Reuters. Uzbekistan authorities stripped the cellco of its licence in June 2012, accusing the company of tax evasion and money laundering as well as a host of other infractions. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Tashkent courts ordered the seizure of the company’s assets in September, apparently confirming suspicions that the affair was an orchestrated effort to take control of the cellco. Two months later, however, the decision to nationalise the provider was overturned and replaced with a USD600 million fine. Earlier this year it seemed that the company would relaunch, with parent company Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) announcing that it had begun negotiations with the Uzbek authorities.