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Kyrgyz arrest imam for alleged Hajj fraud
By Stan Rogers
OSH -- Police arrested imam Rashod Kamolov in connection with charges of defrauding two would-be hajjis, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported January 21. Kamolov is the imam for the mosque in Kara-Suu District.
Police arrested him in Bishkek January 18 in response to a complaint by two Uzbek citizens that he took US $6,300 from them to arrange their pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2009, but allegedly never arranged the trip, AKIPress.org reported.
Kamolov is extremely popular in Kara-Suu, as shown by a demonstration that followed a brief detention of him last July, Dilyor Dzhumaboyev, a member of the Public Commission on Peace in Kara-Suu, told RFE/RL. He is also the son of the late imam Rafik Kamolov, who was killed in 2006 in a joint Uzbek-Kyrgyz anti-extremist operation.