MOSCOW, September 16 (RAPSI) – More than 3,000 people were detained during police raids in the Moscow subway system over the weekend, the Interior Ministry’s press service told RIA Novosti.
More than 550 administrative and four criminal cases were opened as a result. “The weekend raids resulted in four criminal cases, which included drug trade and illegal weapons possession,” the police representative told the journalists.
He added that 3,122 people were detained by police, and 564 administrative cases were initiated, with 52 counts of migration law violations, 69 counts of minor hooliganism and more than 350 for disorderly conduct.
The Moscow subway is one of the world’s busiest rapid transport systems, consisting of almost 200 mostly underground stations, stretching more than 300 kilometers and carrying almost 2.5 billion passengers a year, according to last year’s figures. It remains the cheapest and most reliable mode of transportation in the Russian capital, which suffers of some of the world’s worst traffic congestion.
The “decriminalization” sting follows a crackdown last month on illegal immigrants in Moscow.
Hundreds of immigrants, most of them from Vietnam, were placed in a tent camp in the capital over alleged violations of migration rules after massive raids on Moscow markets and other migrant workplaces in August. The raids followed an attack on a police officer who was seriously injured at a market while trying to detain a suspected sex offender.
Economic growth driven by revenues from oil exports and a dwindling domestic labor force have attracted millions of labor migrants, many of them the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Some 11.3 million foreigners entered Russia this year, of whom 3 million work illegally, the Federal Migration Service said in late July.