Ex-head of Tajik Air Rustam Kholikov removed from Dushanbe – Istanbul flight

On the morning of August 4, Rustam Kholikov, the former director general of Tajik Air, was removed from the Dushanbe, Tajikistan – Istanbul, Turkey, flight. Representatives of the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan arrived at the airport and took Mr. Kholikov with them for interrogation, according to the Akhbor website.

According to these sources, after interrogation at the State Committee for National Security, where Mr. Kholikov was asked about the purpose of his trip outside the country, he was released, but on a recognizance not to leave. Mr. Kholikov pledged not to leave his place of residence until the end of the investigation in his case.

Akhbor reported that a criminal case had recently been opened against Mr. Kholikov regarding the theft of funds from Tajik Air and his trip abroad immediately after the start of the case raised some doubts from the investigation about the true purpose of Mr. Kholikov’s trip. On April 10, 2019, the investigating authorities arrested another former Tajik Air head, Khairullo Rakhimov, but he was also released on April 26 on his own recognizance.

Mr. Kholikov, the former director general of Tajik Air, was detained on the morning of August 4 at the airport in Dushanbe before the Dushanbe – Istanbul flight.

Tajik Air is the oldest and only state-owned airline in Tajikistan. Despite the high prices and low level of service, Tajik Air has been in a deplorable financial condition for many years, as a result of which its managers are changing rapidly. And on January 2, 2019, Tajik Air completely stopped all its flights. Most of the air company’s flights, including such profitable air routes, as Dushanbe – Moscow, immediately went to the second airline in Tajikistan – Somon Air, owned by Hassan Asadullozoda, director of Orien Bank and brother-in-law of the President of Tajikistan.

The situation around Tajik Air caused Tajik President Emomali Rahmon to criticize the airline’s leadership at the final government meeting on January 21 and immediately release Tajik Air director Khairullo Rakhimov by pointing him to the door. “You are free!” said Emomali Rahmon, addressing the already dismissed high-ranking official following harsh criticism of his activities.

Following the Mr. Rakhimov’s dismissal, Dilshod Ismatullozoda, who previously worked as first deputy head of the presidential apparatus, was appointed to be the new director of Tajik Air.

The brother of the new leader of Tajik Air, Shukhrat Ismatullozoda is a deputy of Hassan Asadullozoda in Orien Bank.

Many believe that interested groups want to push Tajik Air out of the market and turn Somon Air into a monopolist in the Tajik civil aviation industry, the article said.

Source – http://ca-news.org/

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