Jetting around the world on trips to Dubai, Turkey, London, and other locations. Staying at hotels costing $10,000 a night. Children dressed in matching Burberry outfits. This has been the life of the wife of former Kyrgyz customs official Raimbek Matraimov, even though her husband’s declared salary was only around $1,000 a month. Last week, the United States slapped sanctions on Matraimov and his wife for alleged corruption.
A new investigation dives into the opulent lifestyle led by Matraimov and his relatives. Together with the OCCRP, the Kyrgyz news site Kloop, and the investigative group Bellingcat, RFE/RL reporters based this investigation largely on the social-media posts of Matraimov’s wife.
Using geolocation and other open-source techniques, they revealed a previously unknown Dubai penthouse linked by the Matraimovs, as well as a link between the family and Kyrgyzstan’s most notorious crime boss, Kamchy Kolbaev, through an exclusive lakeside resort he controls.
Kyrgyzstan’s government is now grappling with what to do about Matraimov, who is currently under house arrest on corruption allegations but remains extremely well-connected.
This new investigation gives the authorities plenty of leads to follow.
#Kyrgyzstan #Corruption #InvestigativeJournalism
This post was originally published on Radio Free.