The chief of the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption has commented on the case of the arrested anticorruption officers.

In his written reply to Asia-Plus inquiry letter, Sulaimon Sultonzoda said a special investigative group had been set up to investigate the case of the arrested anticorruption officers.  

“Reports released by some media outlets that allegedly 35 million dollars were found in the home of Davlatbek Kharizoda’s parents, 1.3 million dollars and six kilograms of gold were found in Firouz Kholmurdozoda’s home and sacks of dollars and jewelries were discovered in the home of Firdavs Niyozbadalov (Abdughafforzoda) are absolutely baseless,” Sultonzoda said in his letter.  

He also denied information that the medical certificate of the Moscow-based “Bio-Papa” lab regarding Zayd Saidov’s criminal case is falsified as unfounded.  

Recall, the Prague-based website posted photos claiming to show a humungous trove of dollars being discovered in the family home of the one of the suspects, Khairzoda.  As the website explained, the pictures have been widely circulated by mobile phone users in Tajikistan, as though that somehow constituted evidence of anything.

Meanwhile, reports that the photos, however, turned out not to be from Tajikistan at all, but of some other unspecified nation — possibly Ecuador.

As it had been reported earlier, more than 10 top investigators and officials of the anticorruption agency were arrested on April 24.

Thus, a former deputy chief of the anticorruption agency, Davlatbek Khairzoda, was reportedly detained at the airport of the northern city of Khujand as he was on his way to Russia.

Among the detained officers there were also Jamoliddin Muhammadzoda, the head of the inspections department, and Firouz Kholmurodzoda, the chief of the investigative directorate.  Firdavs Niyozbadalov was reportedly also arrested.  He was involved in the investigation into the former minister of industry Zaid Saidov.  Saidov’s lawyers and human rights activists had complained that Niyozbadalov used unlawful methods and resorted to physical intimidation during that investigation.

All the people detained are facing charges of corruption, forging document and abuse of office.

The chief of the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption, Sulaimon Sultonzoda, declined to comment to reporters on April 26, saying that information related to the matter is classified as secret.

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.