VLADIVOSTOK, July 31 (RIA Novosti) – Investigators in Russia’s Far East have opened a criminal case against two North Koreans suspected of beating a Russian border guard with clubs while attempting to cross the country’s border, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.
According to investigators, five North Koreans crossed the Russian border in a motorboat last Saturday, sailing into the Peter the Great Gulf in the Sea of Japan.
A border guard from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) was trying to detain their boat when two of the suspects resisted by “hitting him on his hand with wooden clubs,” the investigators said in a statement.
The Koreans were later detained, and face charges of “using violence against a state official,” punishable with up to five years in prison. It was not immediately clear why they had crossed into Russian territory or whether their trip was sanctioned by the North Korean authorities.
Russia’s eastern Primorsky Territory has long been a refuge for Koreans hoping to flee their country, including many economic migrants and political refugees.