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Kazakh Court Convicts Five, Including Russian National, In Human Trafficking Case

A court in Kazakhstan's western city of Atyrau has sentenced four Kazakh nationals and a Russian citizen to prison in a human-trafficking case.

In a trial that ended on January 12, one defendant was found guilty of organizing a ring the authorities said smuggled people from Afghanistan to the European Union via Central Asia and Russia, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Three other defendants, including a Russian citizen, were sentenced to eight years in prison.

A fifth defendant was sentenced to three years of restricted freedom, which is similar to a suspended sentence with parole limitations.

The convicts' identities have not been disclosed.

The court said that the ring consisted of citizens of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia and operated from October 2015 to March 2016, smuggling Afghans into Finland via Central Asia and Russia.

Other suspected members of the ring remain at large, the court said.

Based on reporting by Tengrinews and Kazinform

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