Russian Woman Fined In Tajikistan Over ‘Smuggled’ Tsarist-Era Coin

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DUSHANBE -- A court in Dushanbe has fined a Russian woman after finding her guilty of an attempt to smuggle a tsarist-era copper coin out of Tajikistan.

The Shohmansur district court in the Tajik capital on August 21 fined Tatyana Khuzhina 5,000 somonis ($560) and ruled that she will be allowed to leave for Russian after the fine is paid.

The lead prosecutor in the case asked the court on August 18 to sentence Khuzhina to six years in prison.

Khuzhina, 41, was detained in June after customs officers found a Russian two-kopeck coin issued in 1823 in her wallet while she was boarding a flight from Dushanbe to Moscow.

Tajik officials have insisted that Khuzhina illegally tried to take the coin out of the Central Asian state without declaring it. The court ruled on August 21 that the coin will be kept in a Tajik museum.

Khuzhina, who was born in Tajikistan and has lived in Russia since 2012, says she had the coin for years as a memento of her mother and was carrying it in her wallet when she entered the former Soviet republic from Russia.

Russian Embassy officials told reporters that the coin is of little value, estimating it to be worth a maximum of $4.

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