Vimpelcom announced it faces investigations in the US and the Netherlands into its activities in Uzbekistan. The company said it received a letter from US Securities and Exchange Commission stating that it's conducting an investigation related to Vimpelcom and requesting documents. Also, the company's headquarters in Amsterdam were visited by representatives of the Dutch authorities, including the Dutch public prosecutor office, who obtained documents and informed the company that it was the focus of a criminal investigation in the Netherlands.
The investigations "appear to be concerned with the company's operations in Uzbekistan", Vimpelcom said without providing further details. The company said it intends to fully cooperate with the investigations. Vimpelcom has 10.5 million mobile customers in Uzbekistan.
It is not the first foreign operator to face problems in the country. In 2012, MTS had its assets seized by the government over alleged licence and tax violations. It was eventually declared bankrupt and ended up leaving the market. TeliaSonera's top management fell in 2013 over allegations of mismanagement at its operations in Uzbekistan. The Swedish public prosecutor continues to investigate how the company was established in Uzbekistan.
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