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Police net crime gang working out of Moscow detective agency

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A gang, which was using the cover of a detective agency to hide its criminal activities, has been rounded up in Moscow, the Interior Ministry's organized crime department said in a statement on Monday.
MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - A gang, which was using the cover of a detective agency to hide its criminal activities, has been rounded up in Moscow, the Interior Ministry's organized crime department said in a statement on Monday.

The group comprising some 20 suspects, which included investigation professionals, bomb disposal experts and specialists, is accused of extortion, corporate raiding and other crimes.

"The group has been using the cover of a detective agency, and its members used fake IDs to pose as officers from the Interior Ministry and FSB," the statement says.

During the search, a home-made explosive device, three Kalashnikov assault rifles and four pistols with silencers were discovered. Police also found forged seals and stamps from a number of Moscow police departments, police and military uniforms, masks and radio sets.

The group was led by a 33-year-old former police officer known as Sergei, previously convicted for kidnapping and extortion.

"He graduated from one of the Interior Ministry's universities, has served as a criminal investigator and was well-informed on how police teams operate," a source in the department told RIA Novosti.

Investigators found an archive containing confidential information about a number of individuals and organizations in his garage.

An investigation is underway to try and establish other possible criminal activities the gang may have been involved in.

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