Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (2011)
Alimzhan Tursunovich Tokhtakhounov|
1 January 1949
Tashkent, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union
Alimzhan Tursunovich Tokhtakhounov (Russian: Алимжан Турсунович Тохтахунов; born 1 January 1949) 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" (Russian: Тайванчик, lit. 'Little Taiwan'), 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".
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.
- Andrew Dampf (13 August 2002). "Taivanchik Hearing Ordered to Stay Put". The St Petersburg Times. The Associated Press. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012.
- Bensinger, Ken (2018). Red Card: How the U.S. Blew the Whistle on the World's Biggest Sports Scandal. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 22. ISBN 9781501133909.
- Toobin, Jeffrey (February 19, 2018). "Trump's Miss Universe Gambit". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- Libre.be, La. "Anna a peur de Tokhtakhounov". Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- DILLMAN, LISA (August 2, 2002). "Russian Tennis Players Wary of Mob Talk". LA Times. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "Wanted Persons - TOKHTAKHOUNOV, Alimzhan", Interpol
- "Ganavim Ba Hok". 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017 – via www.imdb.com.
- 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.
- "U.S. Seeks Arrest of Reputed Russian Mobster". Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- "Russian mafia boss still at large after FBI wiretap at Trump Tower". Retrieved 16 October 2017.