The property of bankrupt wireless operator MTS Uzbekistan is due to be put to auction on 1 July, RIA Novosti writes citing the Uzbek real estate exchange. Interested parties must pay a deposit of 20% of the UZS600 billion (USD286.94 million) starting price to participate in the sale. The Russian-backed unit had its operating licences suspended in June 2012, before being stripped of the concessions two months later. Uzbek authorities accused the cellco of a slew of regulatory and criminal infractions, varying from failure to acquire the correct permissions for base stations to laundering cash and tax evasion. Seemingly confirming suspicions that the allegations were part of a shakedown, in September the cellco’s assets were seized, although the decision was later overturned and replaced by a fine of USD600 million imposed on the provider. MTS filed for bankruptcy in early 2013, claiming that it did not have the funds to pay the penalties.
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