The name of another possible suspect in the abduction of deputy head of Orienbank becomes known
The name of another possible suspect in the abduction of the first deputy head of Orienbank, Shuhrat Ismatulloyev, has become known, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported on July 4. Two sources in law enforcement authorities reportedly told Radio Ozodi that his name is Dilshod Saidmurodov and he is better known as “Dilshod S.B.”One of the sources told Radio Liberty on the basis of anonymity that is was Dilshod Saidmurodov who had led the group of kidnappers. The country’s law enforcement authorities, however, neither confirm nor deny this information. The sources told Radio Ozodi that Saidmurodov fled to Russia via Dushanbe airport on June 24, just a day after disappearance of Orienbank top manager. The sources also told Radio Ozodi that Dilshod Saidmurodov had previously served in the Interior Ministry Organized Control Directorate and for some time he had headed the Cybercrime Department at the Prosecutor-General’s Office. “He also has an experience of work with the anticorruption agency, but lately he hasn't been working anywhere,” the sources added. According to Radio Ozodi’s sources, Dilshod Saidmurodov also has Russian citizenship, and after his departure to Moscow, he is being wanted there.Radio Ozodi also reported that after the departure of Dilshod Saidmurodov several employees of Dushanbe airport had been fired. Almost two weeks have passed since abduction of Shuhrat Ismatulloyev, but his fate is still unknown. Recall, Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry said on June 26 that the 49-year-old Shuhrat Ismatulloyev was forced into a black Hyundai Sonata automobile by four unidentified individuals on the evening of June 23 when he left his house on the Zakariyoi Rozi Street in Dushanbe’s Ismoili Somoni district and taken to an unknown location.The Interior Ministry announced a US$30,000 reward for information leading to finding the banker.Radio Ozodi on July 1 cited Tajikistan’s authorities as saying that one of those suspected of being involved in the abduction of Shuhrat Ismatulloyev allegedly opened fire and killed two security personnel and wounded one another at Chisinau International Airport. The detainee was identified as Rustam Ashourov and Tajik prosecutors charge that Ashourov, after the abduction of the banker, fled the country to Moldova through Turkiye in order to subsequently hide in the countries of the European Union.After Ashourov was refused entry to Moldova, he reportedly “grabbed a pistol from one of the law-enforcement officers of the Chisinau airport, shot two, and took several people hostage.” During his arrest, Ashourov, 43, suffered gunshot wounds. Authorities in Moldova said he died in custody on July 1.Meanwhile, Radio Ozodi reported on July 2 that at least four people have been detained in Tajikistan in connection with the June 23 abduction and disappearance of Shuhrat Ismatulloyev. The identities of the detainees have not been released, but sources close to the investigation said they were all former security officers who were allegedly working together with organized-crime figures. One of the detainees was reportedly a former officer with the Interior Ministry and the state Anti-Corruption Agency.Radio Ozodi reported on June 26 that Shuhrat Ismatulloyev is the brother of Dilshod Ismatullozoda, the former head of Tajik Air (Tajikistan’s national air carrier), and one of the people close to Hasan Asadullozoda, the head of Orienbank and the brother-in-law of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (his wife’s brother). Ismatulloyev has reportedly been the first deputy head of Orienbank for years and according to the people in the know, it was Shuhrat Ismatulloyev who actually handled Orienbank’s affairs.Orienbank is one of the oldest banks in Tajikistan, and one of its largest financial institutions.