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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kazakhstan Reports 40 MiGs Sold




ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan's top prosecutor acknowledged Thursday that about 40 MiG fighter planes had been illegally sold to North Korea, a higher number than previously reported.


Prosecutor General Yury Khitrin also identified the Kazakh man detained last week in connection with the sale as Alexander Petrenko.


He is charged with brokering the deal.


Khitrin said at a news conference that authorities had confiscated $1.8 million from Petrenko, believed to be partial payment from North Korea for the planes.


When Kazakhstan announced the detention two weeks ago, it said that 30 planes had been sold to North Korea, but Khitrin said the contract was for 40 and Petrenko's lawyer, Anatoly Ginzburg, said 38 had been delivered.


Ginzburg claimed that the deal, worth a total of $8 million, was legal because it was based on earlier framework agreements on military cooperation with North Korea.


The South Korean government handed an official protest over the sale of MiGs to Kazakhstan in August.


The U.S. State Department also expressed concern, and Kazakhstan's government promised to investigate.