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Miss Uzbekistan mystery: Where did Rakhima Ganieva come from?

Miss Uzbekistan Rakhima Ganieva wasn't officially sent to Miss World competition, officials said.
By DANIELLE HAYNES, UPI.com   |   Sept. 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM   |   Comments

Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Miss Uzbekistan Rakhima Ganieva is a beautiful 18-year-old competing for the title of Miss World in Indonesia this week, but some officials in her home country say they didn't send her to the pageant.

"Rakhima Ganieva never passed through any special selection process in Uzbekistan," said Zhavlon Komolov, a representative of the Tashkent-based Pro Models modeling agency where the teen trained as a 15-year-old.

Both the Uzbek Culture and Sports Ministry and the national committee on women said they don't know who Ganieva is, adding that the country doesn't even have a Miss Uzbekistan contest, Eurasianet.org reported.

"If there had been a process to choose a young lady for this competition, I can assure you that a much more beautiful model would have been chosen," Komolov said. "I'm sorry that Ganieva is choosing to build a career on lies."

Even Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov's daughter, Gulnara Karimov, took to Twitter to speak out against Ganieva, calling her a "Tajik-looking girl" who "appeared out of nowhere."

Follow @DanielleHaynes1 and @UPI on Twitter.
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