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Kazakhstan Arrests Pro-Russia Businessman

A wealthy Kazakh businessman with close ties to Russia who was detained on January 30 has been sent to pretrial detention.

Lawyers of Tokhtar Toleshov said on February 3 that their client had been charged with financing organized criminal activities and illegally producing and distributing illicit drugs.

The lawyers said that a court in the southern city of Shymkent had issued a two-month pretrial arrest order for Toleshov on February 2.

Toleshov is chief executive of one of Kazakhstan's largest breweries in the country's south.

He has run the Kazakh office of a Russia-based organization called the Center for the Analysis of Terrorist Threats.

Toleshov has also advised Russia's parliament on matters of economic cooperation and religion.

His detention follows a crackdown by Astana on both pro-Russian and nationalist activists.