“MegaCom” to be confiscated?
Business and Economics, Kyrgyzstan, Media and Internet3 Comments
Translator’s note: It appears that Kyrgyzstan’s leading mobile operator MegaCom is about to be confiscated by the government, amidst an ongoing political and law enforcement scandal related to the company. Original post by neweurasia’s Malika (RUS).
As Kyrgyz parliamentarians propose to confiscate state’s leading mobile operator “MegaCom”, the scandal around its shares is still far from being resolved.
The proposal to confiscate was made by the working group, which had earlier been established to investigate the situation around the company. The initial plan was to nationalize it. However, nationalization would require repayment of lost profits and return of the shares costs. State budget clearly does not have funds for that.
The working group’s chairman Akylbek Zhaparov said that along with nationalization, the commission also proposed to take measures in finding the actual owner or a reliable customer only with necessary court procedures.
Speaking about the owner, with the Interim Government’s decree 49% of shares were nationalized last year, while the owner of the remaining 51% shares still has not been identified up until today. Some sources say that the mobile operator has links to the ex-president’s youngest son Maxim Bakiev.
Begining of this year, Kyrgyzstan’s authorities initiated a criminal investigation against the heads of the company. Andrei Silich was replaced with Azamat Murzaliev. However, two months later criminal case against Silich was teminated and a new one opened, this time against the newly appointed CEO. By March, the scandal reached its culmination, having involved the names of some high-profile politicians, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Financial Police.
Akylbek Zhaparov notes that the situation around the mobile services provider is turning political: “For moral and ethical reasons the country’s Prosecutor General has already been fired, now the Deputy Prime Minister Omburbek Babanov’s involvement is slowly being revealed.”
All the evidence about the Deputy Prime Minister Omburbek Babanov’s involvement that has been found during the deputies’ investigation will soon be delivered to the Prosecutor General’s Office. Accoring to the commission’s accounts, the cost of MegaCom is currently valued at $400 million, instead of $100 million as valued by some governmental officials.
The deputies also suggest introducing additional payments to the state budget along with what has already been established by legislation. This proposal will soon be directed to the Parliament for ratification.