DAGESTAN, 14 August, Caucasus Times – An organized criminal group has been detained in Dagestan for forging money and selling counterfeit rouble banknotes presumably with the aim of financing the criminal underground, the republic’s law-enforcement agencies have reported.
Five people, among them the leader of the group, were caught red-handed when they attempted to sell counterfeit banknotes. False banknotes worth R57,000 [2,100 dollars], as well as blank 500-rouble and 1,000-rouble banknotes worth R770,000 were confiscated. A computer laboratory that the criminals used for forging banknotes was also discovered.
The detained leader of the group received religious education in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the Federal Security Service directorate said. Two of his relatives were earlier convicted on charges of terrorism, participation in illegal armed formation and illegal possession of arms. The Federal
Security Service does not rule out that the arrest of the group has deprived the Dagestani terrorist underground a source of financing.
The law-enforcement agencies had been watching the group for two years, but they managed to detain members of the group only today as they attempted to sell false banknotes.
Over five similar groups of forgers were detained in some districts of Russia between 2005 and 2006, some members of those groups were natives of Dagestan. The detained group also had links with criminal gangs outside Dagestan through which it received fine paper and other materials.
An investigation is under way to check links between these groups and their involvement in financing the Dagestani terrorist underground.