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Friday
May082015

Teen impersonates son of Tajik leader, collects thousands in bribes

Khushdil Qurbonov in photo released by Tajik authoritieA high school student who pretended to be part of the Tajikistan ruling family allegedly collected more than $50,000 in bribes in return for political favors.

"Khushdil Qurbonov, who has a passing resemblance to President Emomali Rahmon's 16-year-old son, Somon, is accused of defrauding several people since 2014," RFE/RL said.

Some of the victims were government officials who paid "tens of thousands of dollars to Qurbonov."

The teenager reportedly collected $50,000 from a Dushanbe resident who wanted to buy land in the Rudaki district, the state anti-corruption agency said.

After taking the bribe, the teenager allegedly called a government official, pretending to be Somon Emomali. He told the official to deed the land to the fraud victim.

The official apparently refused to deliver the land.

"Qurbonov was arrested by the state anti-corruption agency, which is run by Rahmon's oldest son, Rustami Emomali," RFE/RL said.

The real Somon Emomali is rarely seen in public, the report said. In 2012 he reportedly won a gold medal in an international computer science contest in Romania.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.