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 MTS took a USD1.1 billion write down last month when the operating licence of MTS Uzbekistan was revoked by local courts.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.’
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