MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti) – Hundreds of people were taken to police stations on Monday after a sweep at a market in southeast Moscow to track down undocumented migrant workers, weapons and illicit drugs.
“Some 700 people were brought to police stations to be checked for violations of migration laws and involvement in earlier committed crimes” from the Moskva market in the district of Lyublino, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Police held over a thousand people in checks for criminal records and migration permits at the same shopping center on Wednesday.
Moscow authorities have in recent months staged a series of raids on the city's market places, where many people from former Soviet republics are employed.
The authorities say the drive is an attempt to root out crime, although critics have dismissed the tactic as a populist stunt.
In October, a nationalist mob rampaged through a market in south Moscow after a local man was knifed to death by a man the police later said was from Azerbaijan.