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Two Russians charged with attempting to smuggle rare insects and reptiles
Two Russians charged with attempting to smuggle rare insects and reptiles out of Madagascar have been released from jail, a Russian Embassy spokesman said on Thursday.

On January 10, Vladimir Yefremenko and his wife Kristina were detained at a Madagascar national park. They were found in possession of plastic cases containing different types of local insects, along with insect-catching equipment.

"During an appeal hearing on Wednesday, the judge listened to the defense and ruled to release the Russians," Yury Vinnik said over the phone, adding that on Monday the couple would arrive in Antananarivo, the capital.

A court in the town of Maroantsetra had earlier sentenced the Russian couple, from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, to a $300 fine and three months in prison.

Krasnoyarsk regional lawmakers appealed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in early February to assist in the case.

Madagascar, located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa, is the fourth largest island in the world.


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