02:06 GMT +3 hours26 November 2014
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Russia Approves Stiffer Illegal Immigration Penalties

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The punishment for those who organize illegal immigration into Russia just got tougher under new amendments to the Criminal Code signed by President Vladimir Putin.

MOSCOW, December 31 (RIA Novosti) – The punishment for those who organize illegal immigration into Russia just got tougher under new amendments to the Criminal Code signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Those responsible for organizing the illegal entry of non-citizens into Russia, their stay in the country or their transit through it now face up to five years in prison, up from two previously, according to the document, which has been published on Russia’s official legal information website.

If they are acting as part of an organized group with the goal of carrying out criminal activity in Russia, the maximum sentence is now seven years, up from five.

The amendments also include stiffer fines and longer community service penalties for offenders.

Putin spoke of the need to toughen punishment for illegal immigration in his annual address to the Federal Assembly on December 12.