The number of arrested officers of the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption has risen to 17.  

Former deputy director of the anticorruption agency, Davlatbek Khairzoda, has reportedly been detained at Tajikistan’s border with Kyrgyzstan when he was going to leave the country. 

Davlatbek Khairzoda was appointed deputy director of the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption in March 2015.

Representatives of the anticorruption agency say Khairzoda was allegedly retired in January this year.    

The head of the anticorruption agency organization and inspection directorate, Jamoliddin Muhammadzoda, was also detained on April 24, a reliable source told Asia-Plus in an interview.  He was appointed to head this directorate in December last year.  Prior to this position Khairzoda was chief of the anticorruption’s office for Khatlon province.  

Former investigator of the anticorruption agency, Firdavs Niyozbadalov was also arrested on Monday, the source said.

According to him, persons under investigation and their defense lawyers have repeatedly complained that Niyozbadalov uses unlawful methods of investigation down to blows.

In all, 17 anticorruption officers have been detained and one of the anticorruption officers -- Umed Kamolov -- has been put on wanted list, the source added.   

Recall, Asia-Plus reported yesterday that at least 10 high-ranking officers of the anticorruption agency were arrested in Dushanbe on Monday.  Among them is Firouz Kholmurodov, the chief the Investigative Directorate of the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption.

The arrested officers reportedly face charges of document forgery and abuse of power.

Meanwhile, the anticorruption agency has disavowed those officers saying that they were sacked a week ago.        

Sources at the Prosecutor-General’s Office and the anticorruption agency say a joint operation of the country’s special services has been going on for already a week.

Warrants for the arrest of the officers were reportedly issued on April 24.

The anticorruption agency was created by president’s decree of January 10, 2007.  It performs functions previously carried out by the State Financial Control Committee, Main Tax Police Directorate, Directorate for Combating Corruption and other agencies.

The agency is placed under president’s direct supervision, and it has staff of 450.

Tajikistan ranked joint 136th out 165 countries in Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index — the same as Nigeria and 17 position below Russia.

Tajikistan signed up to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2006 and an anticorruption strategy for 2013-2020 was adopted in 2012.

Meanwhile, a new report by Transparency International, The Global Corruption Barometer 2016, says that nearly a third of public service users in the CIS nations reportedly paid a bribe (30 per cent) in 2015 and bribery is highest in Tajikistan where this rises to 50 percent of service users.