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Reputed Kyrgyz Crime Boss Returning Home

Alleged Kyrgyz crime boss Kamchy Kolbaev
Alleged Kyrgyz crime boss Kamchy Kolbaev
BISHKEK -- The lawyer for a wanted Kyrgyz national on a U.S. list of global drug kingpins says his client is returning from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Ikramidin Aitkulov told RFE/RL on October 7 that his client, Kamchy Kolbaev, will arrive at Bishkek's Manas airport early on October 8. He said Kolbaev is going to Kyrgyzstan to see relatives.

Aitkulov said Kolbaev is aware he may be detained by police on his arrival and questioned regarding alleged involvement in organized and transnational criminal activities.

He said Kolbaev is ready to answer any questions from law enforcement officers.

Meanwhile, Deputy Interior Minister Melis Turganbaev told RFE/RL that Kolbaev is returning to Kyrgyzstan not "to meet with relatives" but because the UAE authorities decided to deport him.

The Kyrgyz authorities believe Kolbaev heads one of the country's main organized crime networks that engages 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 UAE.

He said at the time that Kyrgyz authorities officially requested their extradition to Kyrgyzstan. The three were released from detention in Abu Dhabi in September.

Kolbaev was among seven people added by U.S. President Barack Obama on June 2 to a list of global drug kingpins. U.S. companies and individuals are therefore barred from doing business with Kolbaev.

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

Read more in Kyrgyz here