Thursday, May 31, 2012 -
Two men and a woman were detained by Uzbek police on suspicion of raping and murdering 14 women, a senior Uzbek official said on Wednesday.
A source at Uzbekistan’s interior ministry identified the three as a criminal gang, consisting of two men, aged around 30 years old, and the mother of one of them, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The suspects, all Uzbek citizens from the capital Tashkent, pretended to be taxi drivers and would take the women to “quiet places” where they would rape and murder their victims, the ministry source said.
“They raped and murdered the 14 women in Tashkent and Tashkent region over a one-year period,” said the source, whom the Russian news agency did not identify.
The investigation revealed that the gang stole valuables from their victims, which the mother sold.
Much earlier in the investigation, law enforcement officers arrested one of the two men on suspicion of involvement with the then-unsolved lengthening string of murders.
But he was released for lack of evidence after spending one month in detention.
The police now have solid proof they have caught the guilty parties, they say.
“The investigation has evidence proving the involvement of the detainees,” RIA Novosti reported the source as saying.
“In particular they have taken blood samples of one of the victims on the personal belongings of one of the detainees, and found some personal belongings of the victims,” he added.