New Kyrgyz authorities have launched a criminal investigation into an embezzlement scam involving companies charged with supplies of jet fuel for a U.S. military transit center serving Afghanistan.
According to the Kyrgyz prosecutor's office, London and Gibraltar-registered Red Star Enterprises Ltd. and Mina Corp Ltd. have purchased over 1.8 mln tons of jet fuel from Russia through six Kyrgyz firms without paying an import duty since 2005.
"A criminal case has been opened...and the amount of potential losses suffered by the state is being established," the prosecutor's office said in a statement on Friday.
"All companies belonged to Maxim Bakiyev [a son of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev]," the document said.
The Kyrgyz opposition took power in the former Soviet republic in early April after anti-government protests in several cities turned violent, particularly in the capital, Bishkek.
The interim government earlier said it would take a close look at the agreement under which the Central Asian country hosts the U.S. transit center.
The military base on the territory of Bishkek's Manas airport was built in 2001 as a part of U.S.-led international military operations in nearby Afghanistan.
In early 2009, the Kyrgyz government announced that all U.S. troops would have to leave the country, but later agreed a deal with the Pentagon on improved terms under which the facility was turned into a transit center.
BISHKEK, May 1 (RIA Novosti)