Entrepreneurs complain about extortions by higherranking law enforcement officers. From our readers

The editorial board of Chronicles of Turkmenistan has received an address from former entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan who have emigrated from the country. Businessmen complain about the bribes extorted by higherranking law enforcement officers. The full name of the official mentioned in the address was reduced to his initials but competent authorities will have no difficulty in identifying the officer in case of an inspection.

Minimal corrections have been made to the text to make it easier to read.

We are writing to you with profound hope on behalf of Turkmen entrepreneurs who are currently residing outside the country. We are withholding our names for security reasons.

With the help of this address we would like to inform the public about the unlawful actions undertaken by Turkmenistan's law enforcement officials.

The person in question is the chief of Department of Internal Affairs of Lebap velayat under Turkmenistan's Interior Ministry N.M., who has been the head of the Lebap velayat department for over 3 years.

Throughout this period he proved to be a very cruel and extremely greedy police chief.

His primary goal is to build up his personal wealth by extorting big bribes from various entrepreneurs and public sector enterprises of the velayat, privatelyowned construction companies etc.

His unlawful, corrupt and illegitimate actions are not controlled by any authority and for this reason he, under patronage of Turkmenistan's Interior Minister Isgender Mulikov, has been engaged in criminal behavior.

The public prosecutor's office and the National Security Ministry of Lebap velayat are powerless over him.

As a result of his uncontrolled, illegal and endless inspections carried out by the investigation office of the Department of Internal Affairs, over 500 entrepreneurs have already left the velayat and the inspections are still underway. Some companies and entrepreneurs went bankrupt because of the bribes they had to pay.

Those who remain and are still operating are forced to pay him a monthly bribe. For instance, the restaurants which arrange weddings and parties are urged to pay $20,000 a year. Bribes of $50150 thousand are extorted from mediumsize business owners.

Even drivers are prevented from driving their private vehicles unhampered. He is forcing road police inspectors to get the drivers to the police stations to extort bribes because a monthly bribe of $200 is imposed on each road police inspector.

Only select individuals from his close set are allowed to drive cars with tinted glass, which is strictly forbidden for rank and file citizens. Moreover, he personally controlled vehicles of dark colours and obliges the owners to repaint them white.

After 9 p.m. not a single person can walk across the city freely, and all retail outlets, including grocery stores, are obliged to close. The curfew time can be extended to 10 p.m. for a fee. Peaceloving people of Lebap velayat have been tolerating his outrageous behavior and seek justice.

Moreover, he has personal interests in the construction projects overseen by the Interior Ministry on the territory of the velayat. He makes entrepreneurs fund the staterun construction sites and then launders the money allocated for the construction projects from the budget of the Interior Ministry through the companies he owns.

There are numerous examples of his unlawful actions.

Hopefully with your help the President will learn about his unlawful actions and take relevant measures!

Sincerely,

Migrant entrepreneurs from Turkmenistan

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan