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APAC

U.S. 'deeply concerned' by release of suspected Kyrgyz mob boss

BISHKEK (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday criticised a Kyrgyz court’s decision to release a crime suspect considered by Washington to be the ringleader of an international drug and arms trafficking network.

Kamchybek Kolbaev, 46, was detained last October on charges of organising a criminal group, but this week a local court sided with his lawyers and released him on condition that he does not leave his home town.

“The United States is deeply concerned by the release of transnational organised crime boss Kamchybek Kolbaev, a convicted murderer whose criminal network engages in drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms trafficking and other dangerous criminal activity,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

“Kamchybek Kolbaev’s drug trafficking network poisons children across Central Asia, Russia, and Europe, which is why the U.S. Department of State has offered a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the disruption of his criminal network,” it quoted ambassador Donald Lu as saying.

The former Soviet republic’s State National Security Committee, in turn, said in a statement that it would ensure Kolbaev does not violate the terms of his release and that criminal cases against him are fully investigated.

Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Giles Elgood

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