Tajik Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda has said that two former top police officials were involved in the disappearance in June of Shuhrat Ismatulloev, the deputy chairman of one of the Centra Asian country’s leading banks.
Rahimzoda told reporters on August 1 that “two top officials of the Interior Ministry” were involved in the high-profile case. He did not disclose the names of the two former police officers.
CCTV cameras showed that Ismatulloev, the 49-year-old deputy head of Oriyonbank, was apparently forced into a car in Dushanbe by several unidentified people on the evening of June 23.
Officials in Tajikistan said they believed the alleged kidnappers had been tracking Ismatulloev since at least the beginning of June.
The Tajik Prosecutor-General’s Office has said that the abductors tortured Ismatulloev to death after kidnapping him and ditched his body in a river. But no body was found, despite the police saying that they continued to search for it.
The prosecutors also said that 15 people are suspected of having been involved in Ismatulloev’s disappearance, of whom 13 had been detained.
Sources close to law enforcement told RFE/RL that the alleged abductors’ leader was Dilshod Saidmurodov, who used to work at the Interior Ministry directorate dealing with organized crime.
One of the alleged members of the group was identified as Rustam Ashurov, who died in a hospital in Moldova last month after he was wounded by Moldovan police after shooting dead two security officers on June 30 at Chisinau International Airport.
Moldovan authorities said at the time that Ashurov had previously worked at the Tajik Interior Ministry for seven years, but was fired for unspecified criminal activities.
Several sources told RFE/RL that Ismatulloev, who is believed to have had links to the family of President Emomali Rahmon, officially served as Oryonbank’s deputy chairman but he was the de facto head of the financial institution.
Source : Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty