Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov

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Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov
Born Alimzhan Tursunovich Tokhtakhounov
(1949-01-01) 1 January 1949 (age 65)
Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union

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.[1] 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 early 90's 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 having relations with 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 USA request, but the Italian court denounced the extradition bid and freed Tokhtakhounov.

In Russia he was investigated concerning 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 [2] 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". Pressed to say whether Tokhtakhounov could be called a mobster, she answered, "One might say that."

The United States has a current arrest warrant out for him on fraud-related charges.[3] In 2010, Alimzhan featured in the 2010 documentary Thieves by Law.[4] He lives openly in Russia.[5]

In 2013, Tokhtakhunov was charged with running an illegal gambling ring based from the United States.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Andrew Dampf (13 August 2002). "Taivanchik Hearing Ordered to Stay Put". The St Petersburg Times (The Associated Press). 
  2. ^ La Libre - Anna a peur de Tokhtakhounov
  3. ^ "Wanted Persons - TOKHTAKHOUNOV, Alimzhan", Interpol
  4. ^ Thieves by Law IMDB page
  5. ^ Andrew E. Kramer; James Glanz (June 1, 2013). "In Russia, Living the High Life; in America, a Wanted Man". The New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ The Moscow Times - U.S. Seeks Arrest of Reputed Russian Mobster

External links[edit]