By Vafa İsmayilova
The Azerbaijani National Security Service has arrested former Labour and Social Protection Minister Salim Muslimov on charges of large-scale bribery and abuse of office, the service reported on its official website on February 4.
An investigation into the activities of Muslumov, who served as minister from 2013 to 2018, is underway, the service reported.
In a statement posted on its website, the National Security Service added that it investigated facts of abuse and improper use of powers by Muslumov during his service as a minister in the spheres of rehabilitation and social protection of the disabled and children with disabilities, the implementation of the state control over activities of employers in the fields of labour, employment and social protection issues.
As part of the criminal case launched on the basis of the collected materials, the investigative bodies revealed that Muslimov deliberately used his official powers for obtaining illegal privileges.
The investigative bodies revealed that he claimed and received part of the funds allocated to individuals and legal entities who constructed and repaired private residential houses and boarding houses for the disabled in various districts through officials subordinate to him as intermediaries.
The service said that it received tip-offs that Muslimov had repeatedly taken large-scale bribes for the results of inspections carried out by the ministry's State Labour Inspection Service during the construction and reconstruction of industrial, social and domestic and other facilities upon the fact of their compliance with labour protection requirements and issuing permits for their commissioning.
The investigative bodies also revealed that Muslimov repeatedly received from AZN 10,000 ($5,882) to AZN 30,000 ($17,647) in the form of bribes for the results of inspections from each head of the ministry's various territorial branches.
Muslimov is charged under Azerbaijani Criminal Code Articles 308.2 (abuse of office, entailing grave consequences), 311.3.2 and 311.3.3 (large-scale bribe-taking).
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