Traffic police officers, who were extorting money from Romanian tourists, have been fired.  However, criminal proceedings have been instituted against them.

“Traffic police officers, who were extorting money from Romanian tourists in Kulob, have been fired.  They have violated the code of ethics of Tajik police officers,” Umarjon Emomali, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, criminal proceedings have not been instituted against those corrupt police officers because there is no application from the tourists.  “Video on social media is not the evidence of bribery,” Emomali noted.

“If the Romanian tourists had written an application, we would have instituted criminal proceedings against those traffic police officers.  But we have not received application from them so far, though the incident took place a year ago,” the Interior Ministry spokesman said, noting the Interior Ministry department for international cooperation would try to get in touch with those tourists so that they would write the application.

Recall, the Interior Ministry has launched an investigation into the corruption incident involving Kulob traffic police officers and Romanian tourists.  The fact of bribery has been recorded on video.   

Romanian tourist Mihai Sika told his story on social media.  According him, he and his friend in July last year traveled by bikes to the Pamirs (Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO).

On the way back to Dushanbe they were stopped by traffic police officers on July 28, 2017 at the entrance to Kulob.

One of the traffic officers said that the Romanian tourists had violated the road regulations.  At first, he reportedly demanded 500 somoni but then agreed for 200 somoni.  

The video appeared on YouTube on May 28 and the Interior Ministry launched the investigation in to the incident in the evening of May 31.