Two Managers At Tajikistan’s Largest State Bank Charged Over Illegal Financial Operation

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DUSHANBE -- Two mid-level managers at Amonatbank, Tajikistan's largest state-owned bank, have been arrested and charged with taking part in illegal cross-border financial transactions.

An official at the State Agency for Financial Control and Anti-Corruption Efforts told RFE/RL that the managers at Amonatbank's main headquarters in Dushanbe were detained on October 16 for allegedly trying to smuggle $50,000 plus a "large amount" of Tajik somonis into neighboring Kyrgyzstan in an attempt to trade it on the foreign exchange market there.

The anti-corruption official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not disclose the identities of the arrested bank managers.

A source close to Amonatbank told RFE/RL that investigators think the two men were transporting cash into Kyrgyzstan on a regular basis.

It was not immediately clear if other managers or employees at Amonatbank were under investigation.

A spokesman for the state anti-corruption agency confirmed that two employees of Amonatbank had been arrested but refused to give further details.

The Tajik government uses Amonatbank to disburse pensions and salaries to individuals employed by state institutions.

President Emomali Rahmon replaced the head of Amonatbank in January.

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