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Suspected Member Of Kyrgyz Criminal Group Arrested In Russia

BISHKEK -- A suspected member of a Kyrgyz criminal group has been apprehended near Moscow, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Kyrgyz Interior Ministry spokesman Adyl Omorov told RFE/RL on August 24 that Kazbek Bilalov, 34, was arrested in the town of Zelenograd this week.

Bilalov is wanted in Kyrgyzstan for alleged robbery. Kyrgyz officials are holding talks with their Russian colleagues on his possible extradition to Kyrgyzstan.

Omorov said Bilalov may have been a close associate of Kyrgyzstan's reputed crime boss, Kamchy Kolbaev.

Kolbaev and two of his closest associates, Adilet Kasenov and Almambet Anapiyaev, were arrested in the United Arab Emirates last month. Their possible extradition to Kyrgyzstan is being negotiated.

The Kyrgyz authorities say Kolbaev heads one of the country's main organized crime networks. It is reportedly engaged in activities ranging from drug trafficking to extortion and attempted murder.

Kolbaev was among seven people added by U.S. President Barack Obama on June 2 to a list of global drug kingpins.

The move means U.S. companies and individuals are barred from doing business with Kolbaev.

Read more in Kyrgyz here