Germany raises Tajikistan car theft claim

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BERLIN (AP) - German officials say stolen cars from Germany may have ended up with people close to the family of Tajikistan's president.

Berlin regional justice minister Thomas Heilmann's office confirmed a report Thursday by daily Bild that he alerted the Foreign Ministry to the issue in May after Tajikistan ignored requests for legal assistance.

Heilmann wrote that some cars are in the hands of "people with business and family ties to the Tajik president's family."

Germany's Foreign Ministry said there had been talks with Tajikistan on fighting organized crime, but wouldn't confirm Bild's report that the Tajik ambassador was summoned.

The Tajik Embassy in Berlin denied in a statement that the presidential family drove any vehicles stolen in Germany, but said the Central Asian nation would cooperate with the German authorities' investigation.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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