|Covid-19|Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov Wikipedia
Alimzhan Tursunovich Tokhtakhounov (Russian: Алимжан Турсунович Тохтахунов, b. 1 January 1949 in Tashkent) is a Russian businessman, suspected criminal, and former sportsman. He is accused in relations with organized crime and bribing of figure skating judges in the 2002 Winter Olympics. His nickname is thought to be "Taiwanchik," which refers to his distinctly Asiatic as opposed to European facial features.
Tokhtakhounov was born to an Uyghur family in Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, in 1949. In early years he was an amateur football player, playing for junior team of Pakhtakor in some seasons. His attempts to continue his career in CSKA Moscow failed and he soon ceased to play. Tokhtakhounov was twice imprisoned: in 1972 and in 1985 for "parasitism".
In the early 1990s, he left Russia and settled in Paris, France. There he was soon accused in committing illegal business deals and smuggling of hardware from Germany. He was also reported to have relations with the Russian mafia, including ethnic Georgian mobster Tariel Oniani.
In 2002, Tokhtakhounov was accused in bribery of ice skating judges in the 2002 Winter Olympics. He was arrested in Italy by US request, but the Italian court denounced the extradition bid and freed Tokhtakhounov.
In Russia he was investigated about the legality of his Russian citizenship.
He is notably close to professional Russian tennis players. For instance, a 2002 article in the Belgium daily La Libre Belgique reported on interviews of Russian players following Tokhtakhounov's arrest in Italy. Yevgeny Kafelnikov defended his "friend", Marat Safin refused to discuss a topic that was "not his problem" while Anna Kournikova commented "I have heard of this man. But I don't think I should talk about it. I am Russian and I will have to go back there".
The United States has a current arrest warrant out for him on fraud-related charges. In 2010, Alimzhan featured in the 2010 documentary Thieves by Law. He lives openly in Russia.
In 2013, Tokhtakhunov was charged with running an illegal gambling ring based from the United States.
According to ABC News, he was caught up in an FBI investigation of "a sophisticated Russian organized crime money-laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower in New York." The FBI investigation led to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including Tokhtakhounov, who escaped arrest and remains a fugitive from American justice. "Seven months after the April 2013 indictment and after Interpol issued a red notice for Tokhtakhounov, he appeared near Donald Trump in the VIP section of the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow."