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Reputed Kyrgyz Crime Boss Said Freed From U.A.E. Detention

Kamchy Kolbaev is allegedly involved in criminal activities such as drug-trafficking and extortion.
BISHKEK -- The lawyer for a Kyrgyz national on a U.S. list of global drug kingpins says his client has been released from a detention center in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Ikramidin Aitkulov told RFE/RL on September 7 that his client, Kamchy Kolbaev, was released from detention in Abu Dhabi the previous day after investigators failed to prove his involvement in a jewelry robbery there.

Kyrgyz Deputy Interior Minister Melis Turganbaev told RFE/RL that he did not have any information regarding Kolbaev's alleged release.

Kolbaev is wanted in Kyrgyzstan for organized, transnational criminal activities.

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

In July, Turganbaev told RFE/RL that Kolbaev and two associates were arrested in Abu Dhabi in connection with unspecified crimes committed in the U.A.E. He said at the time that Kyrgyz authorities sent an official request for the three Kyrgyz nationals' extradition to Kyrgyzstan.

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.

Turganbaev told RFE/RL at the time that Kolbaev had ties to a brother of former President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who was ousted in April 2010. He did not specify which of Bakiev's five brothers this pertained to.

The U.S. Treasury Office lists Kolbaev's aliases as Kamchi Bishkeksky and Kolya-Kyrgyz, and says he was born in the northeastern Kyrgyz city of Cholpon Ata in August 1974.

Read more in Kyrgyz here