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Tajik Prosecutors Seek Prison For Russian Woman Over 'Smuggled' Coin

  • RFE/RL's Tajik Service

Tatyana Khuzhina, who was born in Tajikistan and has lived in Russia since 2012, insists that she had the coin for years as a memento of her mother and was carrying it in her wallet when she entered the former Soviet republic from Russia.

DUSHANBE -- Prosecutors in Tajikistan have asked a court to sentence a Russian woman to six years in prison for an alleged "attempt to smuggle" a tsarist-era copper coin out of the country.

The lead prosecutor in the case, however, was open to a suspended sentence instead of actual prison time for Tatyana Khuzhina, her lawyer told RFE/RL.

Khuzhina, 41, was arrested in June after customs officers found a Russian two-kopeck coin issued in 1823 in her wallet while she was checking in to her flight to Moscow from Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe.

Tajik officials have insisted that Khuzhina illegally tried to take the coin out of the Central Asian country without declaring it.

Khuzhina, who was born in Tajikistan and has lived in Russia since 2012, insists that she had the coin for years as a memento of her mother and was carrying it in her wallet when she entered the former Soviet republic from Russia.

Russian Embassy officials told reporters that the coin is of little value, estimating it to be worth at most $4.

The verdict and sentence in the case are expected on August 21, embassy officials said.

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