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Three residents of Abkhazia have been detained in Russia on suspicion
Three residents of Abkhazia have been detained in Russia on suspicion of smuggling arms into the country, the Russian Interior Ministry said on Monday.

"Officers from Russia's law-enforcement bodies caught the suspects red-handed," a ministry spokesperson said.

The group bought arms in Abkhazia and smuggled them through the Russian-Abkhazian border to the Black Sea resort of Sochi. They were then sent to the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, where they were due to be sold on.

According to the spokesperson, a home-made revolver can be purchased for 10,000 rubles ($400) in Abkhazian on the black market, while in Russia it can be sold for 24,000 rubles ($954).

The suspects have been charged with smuggling 19 revolvers, a pistol, and ammunition to Russia. All the weapons have been seized.

The accused face up to 12 years in prison and a fine of one million rubles ($40,000) if found guilty of the charges.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another Georgian breakaway republic, as independent states on August 26. So far, only Nicaragua has followed suit.


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