DUSHANBE, June 11, Asia-Plus -- Sadriddin Mahkamov, the head of the Kuktosh jamoat in the Rudaki district, some 17 kilometers south of Dushanbe, has been arrested on suspicion of having been involved in corruption.

The source at the Agency for State Finance Control and Combating Corruption said that Mahkamov and two other persons, Uktam Khurramov and Rustam Jurayev, were detained on June 5 for demanding $25,000 from local resident Alimahmad Solehov as bribe for allotting 0.25 hectares to him for housing.  

Criminal proceedings have been instituted against them.  Mahkamov, Khurramov and Jurayev face charges under Article 319, Point 4 of Tajikistan’s Criminal Code – bribery.

As it had been reported earlier, the anticorruption agency on May 15 received a legal status giving it to the right to carry out investigation and institute criminal proceedings.  Since May 15, the agency has instituted 32 criminal proceedings on charges of extortion and bribery.  

We will recall that Mahmadi Jourakhonov, the head of the Qairoqqum city natural-gas distributor, Qairoqqumgaz, in the Sughd province, was arrested on May 29.  Officers from the anticorruption agency arrested him when he was taking a bribe of $1,000 from local resident M. for placing him in job at Qairoqqumgaz.  

President Emomali Rahmon signed a decree on the establishment of the Agency for State Finance Control and Combating Corruption on January 10, 2007.  The Agency, including its three regional directorates, has a staff of some 500 and performs functions previously carried out by the State Finance Control Committee, Main Tax Police Directorate, Directorate for Combating Corruption, and other agencies.  Sherkhon Salimov, formerly Chairman of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of Parliament) Committee on Constitution and Human Rights, was appointed to head the anticorruption agency.