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Chechen Leader Appoints Gold-Smuggling Suspects To Senior Government Posts

Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov
Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov
Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov has named to senior government posts two men detained in Turkey in October while allegedly attempting to smuggle 12 kilograms of gold out of the country.

At a cabinet session on January 10, Kadyrov appointed Khasan Khakimov to the newly created position of deputy prime minister responsible for attracting investment and Amruddi Edelgiriyev to head the State Committee for Tourism. Both men had reportedly served earlier as Kadyrov’s advisers, Khakimov since 2006 and Edilgiriyev “for many years.”

Amruddi Edelgiriyev
Amruddi Edelgiriyev
Kadyrov characterized Khakimov as “responsible” and a man of initiative. He noted Edelgiriyev’s “exclusively positive” role in the postwar construction of Chechnya and his capacity for “implementing the most difficult assignments.”

Khakimov and Edilgiriyev were detained at Antalya airport on October 18, 2012, when boarding a flight to Russia, Caucasian Knot reported, quoting the Turkish newspaper “Milliyet.” They reportedly had with them 12 kilograms of gold with a 2008 Russian mint stamp and the identification number KP119. The gold was confiscated and turned over to the Turkish Central Bank.

The detention of the two men was made public only in early November, when Chechen human rights ombudsman Nurdi Nukhadzhiyev said it was illegal and that he would seek Edelgiriyev’s release.

Edelgiriyev, who was traveling on a diplomatic passport, was finally allowed to depart for Russia on a private aircraft. Khakimov was arrested; it is not clear when and on what conditions he was subsequently allowed to return to Chechnya.

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.


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