Kyrgyzstan probes `corrupt` fuel supplies to US base

Kyrgyzstan`s interim government Sunday said it had opened a corruption probe into contracts to supply fuel to a US airbase on its territory seen as key to coalition military operations in Afghanistan.

Bishkek: Kyrgyzstan`s interim government
Sunday said it had opened a corruption probe into contracts to
supply fuel to a US airbase on its territory seen as key to
coalition military operations in Afghanistan.

Prosecutors in the new Kyrgyz government, which came
to power last month amid violent protests which ousted
president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, said they are looking into
possible corrupt practices involving Bakiyev`s son, Maxim.

Maxim Bakiyev is suspected of ducking duties on 1.8
million tonnes of jet fuel imported from Russia since 2005,
which he is then believed to have sold on to two US military
contractors serving the airbase, they said.

"A criminal case has been launched... the extent of
potential damages suffered by the state is now being
established," the prosecutor`s office said in a statement.

"From 2005 to today, a total amount of 1.8 million
tonnes of jet fuel was delivered via the `Northern` and
`Manas` customs routes without paying excise duty."

The announcement came as the US Congress began
hearings last week into whether Washington tolerated
corruption in the strategic Central Asian state in
a bid to maintain access to its Manas airbase outside the
capital Bishkek.

PTI

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