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Ex-Soviet Figures Named In Latest Report On Property Ownership In Dubai

Kyrgyz underworld figure Kamchybek Kolbaev (file photo)

Politicians, business people, and members of organized criminal groups from the former Soviet Union have been named among those owning expensive property in Dubai in a new anti-corruption report.

The report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), in partnership with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, does not say that property was bought using illegally obtained money.

But it says that ownership of expensive property by politicians, officials, and criminals should raise public attention and be thoroughly investigated.

The report published on June 12 mentions Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's son, Heydar, and daughter, Arzu, as owners of property in Dubai. Reports about their ownership of property in Dubai were also published earlier.

Also, Russian businessman Vladlen Stepanov, who was sanctioned by the United States under the Magnitsky Act, appeared in the report as owning property in Dubai.

Another Russian businessman, Vadim Lyalin, is on the list as well.

Two Russian nationals, Vasily Khristoforov and Vladimir Vagin, as well as Kyrgyz citizen Kamchybek Kolbaev, all known as prominent organized crime figures, were also cited in the report as owning property in Dubai's expensive districts.

In 2011, the United States added Kolbaev to a list of major global drug-trafficking suspects.

The report says that the United Arab Emirates does not adequately check the origin of money invested in the country by foreigners.