This material belongs to: Daily Mail.
Glamorous Uzbek princess who accrued a vast fortune under her father’s rule and courted British royalty and celebrities has been thrown into jail over $2bn corruption allegations.
Gulnara Karimova, 45, disappeared after her father Islam Karimov died last year.
She enjoyed a life of luxury from a vast fortune she inherited from her father.
The ‘princess’ even courted members of the royal family at highbrow functions.
Since she went missing in 2016 the princess’ whereabouts have been unknown.
She has now been charged with money laundering, fraud, and is behind bars.
A glamorous Uzbek ‘princess’ who accrued a vast fortune under her tyrannical father’s presidential rule – while courting the attention of British royals – has been thrown into jail pending a $2 billion-plus corruption trial in her impoverished homeland.
Billionaire Gulnara Karimova, 45, had disappeared from view in 2014 under her despotic father Islam Karimov, who died last year.
Since then, her whereabouts have been unknown with her son – exiled in London – even calling on new Uzbekistan dictator Shavkat Mirziyoyev to prove she was still alive.
Today state prosecutors revealed they were seeking to freeze Karimova’s alleged assets in Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Latvia, Malta, Germany, Spain, Russia, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.
These included London properties worth £22.9 million and £4.2 million in British bank accounts.
Cash and properties in Switzerland plus villas at Chateau de Groussay and Saint Tropez in France, and a private jet in Malta, are also included.
The former Uzbek first daughter – who had been tipped to succeed her father as leader of her corruption-ridden country – has been ‘charged’ with crimes including fraud, money laundering and concealing foreign currency and is now ‘held behind bars’, they said.
They revealed for the first time she was convicted in 2015, from which she was sentenced to house arrest, but is now held in custody pending a new trial.
Once the richest and most powerful woman in all ex-USSR countries, as well as a diplomat, pop singer, catwalk model, mobile phone mogul, and, in her own words, an ‘exotic Uzbekistan beauty’, she was seen as the ‘most hated woman’ in her homeland.
Proudly pictured with Prince Michael of Kent, her cotton and gas-rich country became known as ‘Corruptistan’ as her nepotistic father indulged her whims, before finally turning on her as he became senile.
Former British ambassador Craig Murray once described the then all-powerful ‘princess’ as a beautiful but deadly James Bond villainess.
He said: “Gulnara Karimova is one hell of a package”.
“Richer than Paris Hilton, undeniably smarter and arguably sexier – and I’ve met both”.
“Harvard MBA, owner of scores of businesses, martial arts black belt, fluent in four languages, professional jewellery designer, poet and performer of a number one hit pop single.”
“Her muscle-bound boyfriend walks respectfully behind her, head bowed.”
She was today accused of fraudulently acquiring assets worth £455 million and received £664 million in kickbacks paid into offshore accounts.
The total value of her alleged theft from the people of Uzbekistan was put at more than $2 billion.
Her 24 year old son Islam Karimov Jr last year accused the Uzbek authorities of seeking to kill Karimova, alleging she was a victim of vengeance by jealous cronies of her father.
“They want to eliminate her, most likely by poisoning,” he alleged.
“They are not interested in freeing her, because then everything will be revealed.”
“They will have to answer a lot of questions then. No-one could answer these questions.”
He stressed:”I cannot say 100 per cent that she is alive while I do not speak to her.”
She was barred by Mirziyoyev from attending her father’s funeral.
Karimov’s second daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, is Uzbek ambassador to UNESCO, a position she has held since 2008.