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Russian 'crime lord' deported from Thailand

August 22, 2014, 13:47 UTC+3 BANGKOK
In Russia, Lunev is charged with organized crime and extortion, and faces up to 10 years in jail on the first count alone if convicted
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© EPA/NARONG SANGNAK

BANGKOK, August 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The suspected Russian crime lord of a Siberian gang on the international wanted list since 2010 was on Friday deported to Russia from Thailand where he had lived on a Cambodian passport.

Mark Lunev “flew on a morning flight from Bangkok to Moscow accompanied by officers of the Russian National Central Bureau of Interpol,” a source at Russia's embassy in Thailand said.

The man had been detained in a combined operation bringing together the two countries’ law enforcement agencies and embassy personnel, consular department head Vladimir Sosnov said.

In Russia, Lunev is charged with organized crime and extortion, and faces up to 10 years in jail on the first count alone if convicted.

Lunev's supposed "Trunov" gang, at large in western Siberia's Novosibirsk, was busted in 2009. It is reputed being behind contract killings of business people and other crime lords, and is accused of the murder of two aides to the mayor of that city in the early 2000s.

It is also charged with 11 murders, intentional grievous bodily harm, extortion, fraud, illegal purchase and carrying of arms, ammunition and explosive devices.

This is not the first case in which a Russian kingpin has been deported from Thailand. Early in August, Igor Kochergin was brought to Moscow on fraud charges after fleeing from justice to Thai resorts some seven years ago.

July saw the deportation of three Russian nationals, including suspected leader of the Shchelkovo group Alexander Matusov, known in the criminal world as Basmach.

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