200 cars stolen in Germany 'now owned by Tajik elite'
BERLIN (AFP) - About 200 cars stolen in Germany have been tracked down in Tajikistan, where most are now driven by family and friends of President Emomali Rakhmon, media and officials in Berlin said Thursday.
The case of the German-registered cars, including 93 BMWs located via their GPS systems, has caused friction between Germany and the Central Asian country, mass-circulation daily Bild reported.
The German foreign ministry did not confirm it had called in the Tajik ambassador over the case, but a spokeswoman said "there have been talks with the Tajik side on cooperation in fighting organised crime".
The Tajik embassy denied as "completely unfounded" the charge that stolen German cars had ended up with the president's family, saying the claim aimed "to damage the reputation of the nation and the head of state".