Cablegate: First Daughter Lola (Karimova) Cuts Lose
P 260851Z NOV 04
FM AMEMBASSY TASHKENT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0991
INFO AMEMBASSY ALMATY
C O N F I D E N T I A L TASHKENT 003180
DEPT FOR EUR/CACEN
EO 12958 DECL: 11/17/14
TAGS PBIO, PINR, UZ
SUBJECT: FIRST DAUGHTER LOLA (KARIMOVA) CUTS LOSE
CLASSIFIED BY AMB. JON R. PURNELL, FOR REASONS 1.4 (B, D).
1. (C) For at least the past month, the youngest of President Islom Karimov’s three children, 26-year old Lola Karimova, has been frequenting restaurant/club Barkhan (“shifting sand dune”) on a near nightly basis. On November 13, we once again ran into the First Daughter at this location. During this encounter, she identified one of the men in her booth to poloff as her boyfriend and confirmed the club was hers.
2. (C) Karimova typically arrives in her -- one-of-a- kind, for Tashkent -- Porsche Cayenne S Sports Utility Vehicle around ten o’clock for the traditional floorshow and stays until the wee hours dancing the night away in the raucous disco. On occasion, her older sister, Gulnora, joins her around three o’clock in the morning. Taking her prominently reserved booth amidst all the action and protected by four bodyguards, Lola Karimova drinks a fair amount of alcohol and dances freely while 28-year old Barkhan proprietor “Timur” and Ms. Karimova’s thuggish-looking boyfriend also serve to keep potential dance partners at bay.
3. (C) Comment: Lola Karimova, who reportedly also owns chic Tashkent nightclub Basha, would appear to favor her new club, the Barkhan. It remains unclear whether she is the owner by appropriation/hostile takeover, or whether she reached a partnership agreement with “Timur,” who is rumored to own the popular restaurant Karavan, as well. Considering the plethora of foreign contractors, diplomats, and First Family members who habitually attend the Barkhan, the securQis astonishingly light. Barkhan ownership is obviously well connected, as it’s the only place in town that flaunts selling non-Uzbekistan produced hard alcohol, which is against the law.