A 25-year-old resident of Dushanbe Sorbon Yoqubov has been detained for communications fraud and extortion.

He was shown in the Interior Ministry’s television report on the Tajik national TV channel.  Sorbon entered the Tajik Pedagogical University in 2011 but he was expelled from the university in 2013.

In September 2017, Sorbon Yoqubov, pretending to be the mayor  of Dushanbe, contacted Dean of the Physics and Mathematics Faculty at the Tajik Pedagogical University, Sharif Rahmonov, through phone and asked to reinstate his nephew (himself), according to the Interior Ministry’s TV report.

The dean believed and reinstated Sorbon Yoqubov.  Yoqubov reportedly promised to appoint Sharif Rahmonov the head of the State Supervisory Service in Education.

From 2018 to March 2020, Yoqubov fraudulently received 186,000 somoni and Opel-Astra car from Sharif Rahmonov.  

It is not the first case when swindlers use the name of the president and members of his family for their own purposes.  

In early June, a court in Dushanbe’s Firdavsi district sentenced a prominent Tajik actor Behrouz Saeed to 15 years in prison.  The sentence followed his conviction on charges of extortion.  Behrouz Saeed, 25, had his prison sentence cut by three years under an amnesty.

Radio Liberty reports that according to an official at the state anti-corruption agency, Saeed was arrested in April and his sentence was delivered on June 8.

The official said the actor, pretending to be Rustam Emomali, the eldest son of the country’s president who is the mayor of Dushanbe, had contacted two businessmen and asked them to immediately pay back money they owed to one of his friends.

The unidentified businessmen allegedly owed more than $100,000 in total to Saeed’s friend.

A friend of Saeed’s family said he was aware of the case.  “He may have done it – through the phone – because of his naivety and a lack of life experience, but his actions still can’t justify such a harsh sentence,” the friend told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity.

Saeed rose to fame in Tajikistan at the age of seven when he starred in a Tajik television series in which he played a boy whose father had gone to Russia for work.