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Family Of Exiled Kazakh Oligarch Deported

Fugitive Kazakh businessman Mukhtar Ablyazov (file photo)

Fugitive Kazakh businessman Mukhtar Ablyazov (file photo)

The wife and daughter of a fugitive Kazakh businessman have been deported from Italy back to Kazakhstan.

Mukhtar Ablyazov accused Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev of kidnapping his family members.

Reports say Alma Shalabayeva was deported for holding a fake passport.

Her lawyer told RFE/RL that Shalabayeva did not have an Italian visa but had a valid residency permit from another EU country, and argued that sending her back to Kazakhstan would put her life in danger.*

Ablyazov fled Kazakhstan when his bank, BTA, was nationalized and declared insolvent in 2009.

In 2011, he was granted asylum in Britain.

BTA has brought fraud charges against Ablyazov and his allies.

Accused of embezzling $6 billion, he has been in hiding since last year when he fled Britain after missing a contempt of court hearing at which he was due to be jailed for 22 months.

*CLARIFICATION: This article was amended after Mrs. Shalebayeva's lawyer contacted RFE/RL to highlight the fact that while he told Reuters that Mrs. Shalebayeva did not have an Italian visa, she was in Italy legally based on a residency permit issued by another EU state.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL and Reuters