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Reputed Chechen-Kyrgyz Crime Boss's Sister Detained In Russia

BISHKEK -- A sister of a reputed crime boss from Kyrgyzstan, Aziz Batukaev, has been detained in Russia and charged with drug possession.

Kyrgyz Interior Ministry officials told RFE/RL on February 1 that Yakha Batukaeva, 54, was detained in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk with 30 kilograms of unidentified drugs.

Two men, a Kyrgyz and a Swedish citizen, were detained along with Batukaeva, officials said. They did not specify when the three were detained.

Aziz Batukaev's early release from prison in Kyrgyzstan in 2013 caused a scandal that led to the resignation of the deputy prime minister, Shamil Atakhanov, and the sacking of the country's ombudsman.

Batukaev, an ethnic Chechen, was sentenced to almost 17 years in jail in Kyrgyzstan in 2006 for involvement in several serious crimes, including the murders of a Kyrgyz lawmaker and an Interior Ministry official.

Batukaev was released from prison in April 2013, with reports that he was suffering from leukemia.

His medical report was later found to have been falsified.

Batukaev fled to Russia after his release and was later arrested for illegal weapon possession.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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