Pentagon enabled fuel fraud in Kyrgyzstan – US congressional report
Congressional investigators say the US turned a blind eye to an elaborate fraud by the fuel supplier.
In a report that was released on Tuesday, the Congressional Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs examined allegations of corrupt dealings between subsidiaries of the Pentagon, which were supplying fuel for Kyrgyzstan to prosecute the war effort in Afghanistan, and members of the family of the deposed president of Kyrgyzstan, Kumanbek Bakiyev.
The report stated that these subsidiaries, namely the Mina Corp and Red Star, attempted in 2009 to reach out to the former president’s son Maxim Bakiyev to try to engage in backdoor negotiations with the Pentagon regarding the future of the American base. This attempt followed Kyrgyzstan’s announcement that it would shut down the base.
Peter Zalmayev of the Eurasia Democracy Initiative says the dodgy deals were a factor in sparking the popular unrest that ousted Kumanbek Bakiyev in April.
“What we saw in that case was another proof of the fact that president’s family and his son were calling all the shots in the country and were pretty much running the place,” he said.
Zalmayev believes that the events in April were “the direct result of the popular anger that was stirred by the complete lack of accountability and lack of transparency in the deals that the Pentagon was cutting with the Kyrgyz government.”