Thursday, August 02, 2012 -
The chief of Russian mobile service firm MTS’ Uzbek subsidiary has been released from jail, local news sources said Thursday.
Uzdonrobita General Director Radik Dautov, a Russian citizen, was detained on July 17 when Uzbek authorities arrested him after MTS allegedly operated some 200 base stations in the country without the proper authorization.
The Russian foreign ministry has openly called for the release of Dautov, threatening that his continued detention would have negative effects on the Uzbek-Russian relationship. The ministry went on record to say that it considered Dautov’s detention a “very harsh security measure.”
Though Uzbek authorities have now released Dautov, he has been ordered to remain in Uzbekistan to face charges, which include charges of tax evasion and conducting a business without a license, among other crimes.
Four other Uzdonrobita employees are also charged in the case.
Uzbek authorities maintain that Uzdonrobita’s actions have cost the state $362.3 million, a charge MTS flatly denies.