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New leader of Olympic boxing body is one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals' ---Gafur Rakhimov has been linked to extortion, car theft and more...
Press Release: USA Treasury-2012
Press Release: AIBA.org 1/27/2018
News Story:  ABC News/and more
January 27, 2018

(JAN 27, 2018) - Associated Press)  A boxing official described as "one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals" by United States authorities has been named interim president of the Olympic sport's governing body.  The International Boxing Federation (AIBA) said its vice-president Gafur Rakhimov was promoted on Saturday after the "unexpected resignation" of interim leader Franco Falcinelli.

"Rakhimov has been described as having moved from extortion and car theft to becoming one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals and an important person involved in the heroin trade," the U.S. Treasury Department said last month when it announced freezing any assets he held under American jurisdiction.  Still, the long-serving AIBA vice-president is set to lead the Switzerland-based organization for the next nine months until a scheduled election in Moscow.  Full Article

Photo credit:  AIBA/press release -New AIBA Interim President Gafur Rakhimov (left) with his predecessor, Franco Falcinelli, at the AIBA Extraordinary Congress in Dubai. (PRNewsfoto/AIBA)

WBAN published addition tidbits of articles and press releases on the net:

Linked to Criminal Organization/Associated Press - January 27, 2018:  "Rakhimov was linked last month to "Thieves-in-Law" by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which said the group "originated in Stalinist prison camps."   "The Thieves-in-Law has grown into a vast criminal organization which has spread throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States, engaging in a variety of crimes, such as money laundering, extortion, bribery, and robbery," the federal office said.  Rakhimov allegedly has supported the criminal group by "providing warning of law enforcement issues, arranging meetings, and addressing other problems."  Reference:  US Treasury PDF - Designations Linked to the Thieves-in-Law -Transnational Criminal Organization - Executive Order 13581- December 2017. - Link to PDF

According to the ABC News article entitled, "Alleged Heroin Kingpin Helped Russia Win Olympics for Sochi"  published in January of 2014, they wrote the following:  "He [Gafur] was banned from attending the Olympic games in Australia in 2000 because of his alleged criminal ties.   In 2012, U.S. Treasury officials sought to freeze Rakhimov's bank accounts around the world, describing him in public documents as a "key member" of a huge Russian-Asian criminal syndicate called the Brothers' Circle. He [Gafur] has operated major international drug syndicates involving the trafficking of heroin as reported by the ABC News, referring to the the Treasury statement."  

ABC News reported in addition, "Russia won the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, beating out Austria and South Korea, with the help of a mysterious Russian businessman, Gafur Rakhimov, who U.S. authorities describe as a top organized crime boss and heroin kingpin currently under criminal indictment in Uzbekistan.   He [Gufur] is one of the four or five most important people in the heroin trade in the world," Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, told ABC News for a report to be broadcast tonight on "World News With Diane Sawyer". "He's absolutely a very major and dangerous gangster," Murray said.   Yet, after the International Olympic Committee voted in 2007 to award the games to Sochi, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee publicly thanked Rakhimov for his "singled minded work" in getting the votes of some Asian countries, "without which… it would have been hard for Sochi to count on the victory."  "He [Gafur] convinced them because of his good relations with these people. He has great influence," the translator, who was also a spokesman for Rakhimov, said during a phone interview from Dubai where Rakhimov moved after being indicted in Uzbekistan. Link to story

Gangstersinc, reported on February 3, 2014, in an article entitled, "Russian Mafia Boss Rakhimov and the Sochi Olympics, where they reported the following:  "Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Russian organized crime and politics have become so intertwined that it is difficult to distinguish a member of the country’s parliament from a member of the vor z zakone, popularly known as the Russian Mafia. With President Putin as boss of bosses mobsters in Russia are feasting on rampant corruption and seizing the opportunities. Among them is Uzbek crime boss Gafur Rakhimov.  Link to gangstersinc.ning.com/

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project:  Title of article: What is the Brothers’ Circle?  March 12, 2012 - The Obama Administration has named the Brothers’ Circle as one of the transnational organized crime groups that posed the greatest threat to American security and recently sanctioned seven of its members. The three other groups mentioned in Obama’s 2011 Strategy on Combatting Transnational Organized Crime are well-established groups like the Naples, Italy-based Camorra, the Mexican Zetas cartel, and the Japanese Yakuza, which is highly centralized and embedded in Japanese business. The Brothers’ Circle is not a term used by Interpol, is not listed on Wikipedia, and befuddles transnational organized crime experts. So who are they? Link to aritlcle

Press Release from the AIBA:  The new Interim President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), Gafur Rakhimov today pledged to bring transparency and good governance to AIBA in order to restore faith in the organization and show respect for Olympic values.

At the AIBA Extraordinary Congress in Dubai following his appointment, Rakhimov said: "We must work closely with National Federations and with the International Olympic Committee to restore confidence in AIBA's financial management and in its integrity. This means greater transparency and improved corporate governance of AIBA."

The boxing federation has been plagued by financial mismanagement and a lack of transparency, which led to the resignation in November of AIBA President CK Wu.

At the Extraordinary Congress on Saturday, Rakhimov - AIBA's longest-serving Vice President - was named new Interim President, taking over from Franco Falcinelli.

Rakhimov said he would work together with Falcinelli to continue the work of reform and restructuring undertaken so far. Rakhimov said he had "great confidence in the talents of Franco Falcinelli", who was named Executive Vice President and who will also be in charge of developing a New Foundation Plan for AIBA for 2018 and beyond.
Falcinelli, who managed to stabilize the organization over the last four months, welcomed Rakhimov's appointment, calling him a great ambassador for the sport. "I'm confident that he will provide the leadership to restore AIBA to greatness," Falcinelli said.

Rakhimov, meanwhile, said he was pleased to announce that progress was being made on issues relating to AIBA's financial liabilities and that more information would be forthcoming in the near future.

"Now is the time for us all to unite," Rakhimov said to over 250 delegates attending the Congress. "Our greatest responsibility must be to the millions of fans around the world who love boxing and want to be inspired by world-class boxing. We owe it to the fans to make boxing great again."

Rakhimov also named Tom Virgets, current Chairman of the AIBA Disciplinary Commission, as AIBA's new Executive Director.
The one-day meeting was attended by 109 National Federations, including USA, Russia, France, China, Brazil, South Africa and Cuba.  (Source/aiba.org)

About Gafuf Rakhimov - Wiki - Gafur Rakhimov is an Uzbek businessman and sports administrator who has been Vice President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) since 1998.  Rakhimov was born July 22, 1951 in Tashkent. He took up boxing as a youth and later moved on to coaching. After Uzbekistan's independence in 1991, he set up several commercial enterprises, which included trading in both raw materials and finished consumer goods. He also became a prominent figure in Central Asian boxing, and in 2001 and again in 2005 was elected Vice-President of the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan.  He is alleged to have substantial ties to Uzbekistan 's underworld, and along with Kamchybek Kolbayev is considered one of Central Asia's most influential drug traffickers. In 2012, the US Department of the Treasury put financial sanctions on Rakhimov and several other individuals, accused of being part of the so-called Brothers' Circle criminal organization.    He has also been associated with billionaire Alisher Usmanov, although Usmanov denies any serious relationship, illicit or otherwise, between the two men. 

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