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Suspect In Kazakh Smuggling Case Apprehended in Abu Dhabi

Kazakh Customs Committee head Qozy-Korpesh Karibozov stepped down following the arrest of many customs officers.
ASTANA -- A Kazakh national wanted in connection with a high-profile smuggling case in Kazakhstan has been detained in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The Kazakh financial police announced today that Talghat Qaiyrbaev, known also by the nickname Saint Talghat, was detained in Abu Dhabi on May 29 on a request from Interpol.

Qaiyrbaev is one of the main suspects in the smuggling of goods through the Qorghas and Qalzhat checkpoints on the Sino-Kazakh border. Kazakh and U.A.E. officials are currently discussing the possibility of extraditing him to Kazakhstan.

Earlier this month, some 100 people -- including Kazakh customs officers and suspected smugglers -- were arrested on suspicion of shipping goods illegally to and from China.

The Kazakh financial police have arrested several high-ranking customs officials in connection with the case.

Kazakh Customs Committee head Qozy-Korpesh Karibozov stepped down earlier this month in the wake of the arrests.

Read more in Kazakh here