Putin Opponent Nikolai Kobliakov Detained in Sofia

Crime | July 31, 2014, Thursday // 12:12
Bulgaria: Putin Opponent Nikolai Kobliakov Detained in Sofia Koblyakov was detained at the passport control checkpoint of the Airport while entering Bulgaria. He was taken to the National Investigative Service. Photo by BGNES

Nikolai Kobliakov, described as an opposition-affiliated Russian businessman, has been arrested at Sofia Airport, authorities say.

Private national channel NOVA TV reports the operation targeting Kobliakov was carried out on Tuesday evening.

Moscow had issued in 2013 a red notice for Kobliakov over an alleged criminal offense.

On Tuesday the businessman arrived in Sofia flying from French capital Paris and was detained on the passport control checkpoint.

He has a dual Russian-French citizenship and is the co-founder of the human rights organization Russie-Libertes (Free Russia) based in Paris.

The detainee is also the Baltics representative of the French entity Senior Group, which builds residences for the elderly and for people with limited mobility.

Bilyana Kotsakova, Kobliakov's lawyer, was quoted as explaining the wording of the Interpol notice was "too vague", a position also declared in a statement by Russie-Libertes officials.

She also pointed a quick reference on Interpol's website produced no results containing her client's name.

The entrepreneur himself wrote on Facebook that he did not understand why he had appeared on the international warrant list.

The Russian media outlet Rosbalt reported he is facing extradition to Russia.

Kobliakov has been known for his criticism at the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He left the country in 2010 after being summoned for questioning by interrogators.

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Tags: Vladimir Putin, INTERPOL, Red Notice, Nikolay Koblyakov, Russie-Libertes
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