The head of the environmental protection department of the northern city of Panjakent, Ashraf Istamzoda, is suspected of embezzling 1,247,689 somonis (TJS, equivalent to about 110,000 US dollars), says the press center of the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption under the President of Tajikistan.

Criminal investigation against him and other persons involved have bene instituted under the provisions of four articles of Tajikistan’s Penal Code: Article 245 – large scale embezzlement of state funds; Article 318 – illegal entrepreneurship; Article 323 – official forgery; and Article 340 – forgery, production or sale of counterfeit documents, state awards, stamps, seals, forms.  Investigation has been completed and their case has moved to a court.  

According to the anticorruption agency press center, while an official, Istamzoda continued to manage Niso-A Limited Liability Company (LLC).   By creating preferential conditions for his company, he misappropriated budget funds.  

Abusing his official position, Istamzoda reportedly facilitated the signing of contracts between the Panjakent municipal bodies and his Niso-A LLC.  

Thus, during September-December of 2022, Niso-A LLC received contracts to carry out construction work and provide various goods, and in nine cases, it embezzled the state funds. 

“By forging documents the company embezzled a total of 1,247,689 somonis allocated from the national budget,” says the anticorruption agency press center.