* Gulnara Karimova already named by Swiss authorities
* Bribery allegations forced board changes at TeliaSonera
* Dutch, Swiss, U.S. also investigating Uzbek case
STOCKHOLM, March 24 Swedish prosecutors are
investigating the daughter of Uzbekistan's president on
suspicion of taking bribes to let Nordic telecoms company
TeliaSonera enter the country's market, they said on
Gulnara Karimova, daughter of President Islam Karimov, had
already been named by the Swiss public prosecutor as a suspect
in the case which is also being investigated by Dutch and U.S.
Prosecutors are looking into allegations that when
TeliaSonera paid 2.3 billion Swedish crowns ($358 million) for a
3G licence in Uzbekistan in 2007 to Gibraltar-registered firm
Takilant, it knew the company was a front for Karimova.
The allegations, first made in a Swedish television
programme in 2012, have already forced most of the TeliaSonera
board, its chief executive and several senior employees from
In a request to a Stockholm court asking for more time to
bring charges, Swedish prosecutors said they suspected that
representatives for TeliaSonera had bribed members of
Uzbekistan's "political elite".
"In the investigation there is now a concrete basis,
including information on control over assets, which gives reason
to suspect that Gulnara Karimova, who also served as a public
official during the time period relevant for the case, was the
one who orchestrated, controlled, and also was the one who
primarily benefited from the procedure," the prosecutors said.
Reuters was unable to contact Karimova for comment. She has
in the past denied allegations of business impropriety.
TeliaSonera, which has appointed its own lawyers to
investigate its past business deals in Uzbekistan and other
countries in the region, said it was collaborating with the
Uzbekistan's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva from
December 2008 until last year, 41-year-old Karimova is also a
jewellery designer and pop singer whose stage name is
Russian telecoms companies have also run into problems in
Uzbekistan. Russia's top mobile operator, MTS, had its
assets in the country confiscated in 2012 in what it called a
"classic shakedown" of foreign investors.
Rival mobile operator Vimpelcom is under
investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) and Dutch authorities over its business there, it said
(Reporting by Sven Nordenstam and Olof Swahnberg; Editing by