You’re a German, in your home country, and the prized BMW you just bought after months, or perhaps even years of saving up, has just been stolen. Where does one look? Well, if you are willing to take on the might of a head of state, there is some chance getting the car back.
Yes, most of the vehicles are driven by either the family of the friends of Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon.
It seems that BMWs are the car of choice among this group. Globalpost quoted German media and official as saying that of the 200 stolen cars from Germany and reportedly driven around by the Tajiks, 93 were Bimmers.
The cars were located via GPS and this development, according to German publication Bild, has caused some friction between Berlin and Tajik officials.
A German foreign ministry spokeswoman refused to confirm a report which claimed that former foreign minister Guido Westerwelle had called in the Tajik ambassador to discuss the stolen cars of its citizens. However, she did say that “there have been talks with the Tajik side on cooperation in fighting organiszed crime," according to AFP.
‘Westwind’, a taskforce of German and Lithuanian investigators, used mostly GPS systems to locate the vehicles, said the German police. When Tajik officials failed to respond to German officials seeking help, Berlin’s justice minister was compelled to write to the foreign minister.
"Most of the vehicles are in the possession of people who have business or family ties with the family of the Tajik president," Heilmann wrote.
“Tajikistan has to date not replied to the request for legal assistance or taken steps to return the cars,” the German official said.
If the German authorities are successful in retrieving any of the stolen cars, friends of the Tajik president may have to eat some humble pie, especially if they show up to the next dinner party in a Lada.