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Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Former Consul General of Kyrgyzstan in Istanbul detained

by November 29, 2019 General

Erkin Sopokov, former Consul General of the Kyrgyz Republic in Istanbul (Turkey) was detained, the press service of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of the Kyrgyz Republic reported.

As previously reported, an interdepartmental investigation group started pre-trial proceedings for the offence under Article Attempted murder of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Thus, on Nov.28, 2019, former Consul General of Kyrgyzatan in Istanbul Erkin Sopokov was summoned for questioning to the State Committee for National Security.

Moreover, based on the results of a comprehensive audit of Sopokov’s activities during his time as Consul General of the Kyrgyz Republic in Istanbul, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Kyrgyz Republic registered pre-trial proceedings and submitted them for investigation under the following Articles of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic:

– Abuse of official position connected with the illegal transfer by Sopokov of personal car of Land Rover Range Rover brand with diplomatic plates 34 SS 2902 to unauthorized persons, including Aierken Saimaiti;

– Unlawful enrichment connected with Sopokov’s enrichment in the amount of USD 200,000 and purchase of real estate worth KGS 47.6 million;

– Abuse of office position connected with unlawful receipt of 30% of payments for the stay of Sopokov’s spouse on foreign trip to Istanbul, who did not actually live there, as well as the unlawful receipt of funds for medical and entertainment expenses, with a total loss of USD 31,040.

After the investigative proceedings with the participation of Erkin Sopokov, as part of the pre-trial proceedings, the latter was detained and placed in the temporary detention facility of the State Committee for National Security of the Kyrgyz Republic.

At present, all the necessary investigations are being conducted in order to fully, comprehensively, and objectively investigate all the circumstances of the case and to verify information about death threats made to Aierken Saimaiti.

Aierken Saimaiti, a businessman and Chinese citizen, was killed on Nov. 10 in a cafe in Istanbul. The name of this businessman appeared in the investigation of Ali Toktakunov, journalist of Azattyk (Kyrgyz service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, RFE/RL, which broadcasts to Kyrgyzstan) about corruption at customs. It was alleged that Saimaiti had withdrawn about $700 million from the country, and the smuggling schemes lead to former Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Service of the Kyrgyz Republic Raiym Matraiymov.

At the scene of Saimaiti’s murder, a car belonging to then Consul General of the Kyrgyz Republic in Istanbul Erkin Sopokov was found.

Source: Kyrgyz National News Agency