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.