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Leader of the largest criminal grouping operating in Russia's constituent republic of Mordovia has been detained at Moscow's Domodedovo airport.
Leader of the largest criminal grouping operating in Russia's constituent republic of Mordovia, some 600 kilometers to the east of Moscow, has been detained at Moscow's Domodedovo airport. The man stood at the head of the grouping calling itself Yugo-Zapad (Southwest), said sources at the antiterrorist department of the Russian Interior Ministry. "This was one of the most aggressive and audacious groupings in Mordovia in the past several years," a source said. "Its record includes a range of heinous crimes in Mordovia and in several neighboring regions." "Yugo-Zapad kept control over dozens of large companies," he said. The man detained at Domodedovo airport took reins of the grouping in May 2005 after a mystery disappearance of the previous captain. Upon learning that investigators had proven his involvement in assaults and holdups, he escaped to Turkey and was immediately placed on the international wanted list. "Armed bodyguards came to the airport to meet him, but he didn't manage to offer physical resistance during detention," the source said. One more member of the grouping was detained in the city of Penza. He was convoyed to Nizhny Novgorod, the administrative center of the Volga Federal District where he is now kept in a detention center. In the meantime, police in the Mordovian capital Saransk have organized more than 20 searches in the apartments of Yugo-Zapad members and in the offices of companies the grouping controlled. "Policemen confiscated 42 units of firearms, more than 700 munitions, radiostations, 800,000 rubles in cash and book-keeping documents," the source said. Interior Ministry officials say more than 400 organized criminal groupings are operating in Russia now. They have a combined manpower of about 10,000. Such groupings are found in almost all the constituent territories of Russia, but especially many are functioning in the Moscow region.
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