The United States expresses its disappointment at the release of organized crime boss Raimbek Matraimov. We would note that Matraimov is the subject of U.S. State Department and Treasury Department Global Magnitsky and visa sanctions for his participation in a corrupt customs scheme in which at least $700 million was laundered from the Kyrgyz Republic, funds which could have been used by the Kyrgyz government for priorities such as health care, education, agriculture, and pensions. The United States remains committed to freezing his criminal assets overseas and returning them to the Kyrgyz people.
Cooperation between U.S. and Kyrgyz law enforcement officials to combat organized crime and corruption is ongoing. In relation to Matraimov, we are working together with Kyrgyz law enforcement to identify properties and financial interests owned by Matraimov that could be frozen under the requirements of the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The 2019 return by the United States of $4.5 million of Maksim Bakiev’s corrupt money is evidence of U.S. commitment to fight corruption and return stolen assets to the Kyrgyz people.