09:42 GMT +314 November 2018
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    Scientologists Tell Russia's FSB About 'Criminal Nature of Their Activity'

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    Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives searched the premises of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg, prompting the religious group’s adherents to voluntarily come forward and give their testimonies in order to facilitate the ongoing investigation.

    According to a press release issued by the FSB, on March 28 the security agency operatives conducted a search of the premises "used by members of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg religious group in order to locate additional items and documents that would confirm the criminal nature of the aforementioned religious group’s activity."

    FSB investigators have announced that from 2013 until 2016 the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg illegally earned over 276 million rubles (about $4.8 million) for the services it allegedly provided. The investigators also described the group as an extremist organization, arguing that its members adhere to texts that were earlier recognized as extremist literature in court.

    Following the search, a number of the Church of Scientology adherents arrived at the local FSB branch, where they offered to give their testimonies regarding the charges levelled against their group.

    On June 6, 2017 Russian law enforcement agents conducted a search of the premises of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg, charging the group with running illegal business operations, inciting hatred and creating an extremist organization.

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    investigation, search, FSB, Church of Scientology, Saint Petersburg, Russia
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