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Police Detain 1,000 Migrants in Market Raid

Published: October 30, 2013 (Issue # 1784)



  • A worker standing near the entrance to the Sadovod complex in 2009. The market was raided Monday by police.
    Photo: Denis Grishkin / Vedomosti

Police raided thesprawling Sadovod street market onthe southeastern outskirts ofMoscow on Monday, detaining about 1,000 migrants fromformer Soviet countries andan unknown amount ofsuspected counterfeit merchandise.

Theraid was part ofongoing inspections ofareas with heavy concentrations ofmigrants that started inAugust onthe heels ofan attack ona police officer bya Dagestani native atthe Matveyevsky market. Theinspections coincided with amayoral election campaign that exploited anti-immigration sentiment.

Theraids received anew impetus after thousands ofpeople rioted inthe Biryulyovo neighborhood insouthern Moscow earlier this month toprotest thekilling ofa resident that they blamed onan Azeri native working ata local market.

About 1,000 nationals ofKyrgyzstan, Tajikistan andUzbekistan were detained atSadovod onMonday tobe checked forinvolvement incrimes andviolations ofmigration law, city police spokesman Marat Bugulov told journalists, Interfax reported.

During theraid, thepolice also confiscated alarge amount ofmerchandise that they suspected tobe counterfeit, as well as anair pistol, bats andother weapons, Bugulov said.

Such operations are carried out byemployees ofthe Moscow police department regularly as part ofefforts todecriminalize thecapitals markets, Bugulov said.

Thepolice conducted asecurity check as well, examining intercity buses that park atthe market forexplosives, without finding any. Thechecks were apparently prompted bya suicide bombers attack ona bus inVolgograd onOct. 21 that killed seven people andinjured 33, as thebomber had originally been traveling fromthe Dagestani capital ofMakhachkala tothe Sadovod market.

Mondays raid atSadovod was thesecond such inspection atthe market inthe last three months. During aninspection inearly August, police detained more than 1,000 people.

Sadovod was opened inthe mid-1990s under former Mayor Yury Luzhkov forselling merchandise forgardeners, but has since expanded andnow also features pets, construction materials, clothes, carpets andtextiles. It occupies anarea ofmore than 38 hectares near theMoscow Ring Road. But while officially theauthorities are fighting illegal migration, certain groups inthe government may be using thelatest market raids toredistribute property or get anew car or dacha, inexchange forturning ablind eye toviolations, said Andrei Tumanov, aState Duma deputy with AJust Russia andhead ofthe Sadovody Rossii, or Gardeners ofRussia, association.

Sadovod is located inan area known as golden land because ofhigh land prices, Tumanov said.

But Nadezhda Spiridonova, aspokeswoman forthe billionaire co-owners ofthe market, God Nisanov andZarakh Iliyev, denied thepossibility ofa commercial conflict.

We do not think so, she said.

According toVedomosti, themarkets co-owners Nisanov andIliyev also controlled Moscows Cherkizovsky market, which was shut down in2009 over counterfeit produce andmigration violations.

Thetwo businessmen now co-own theMoskva market inthe Moscow district ofLyublino andseveral popular shopping malls inthe city, including Yevropeysky near theKiyevskaya metro station, theGrand furniture store, anda mall inthe Moskva City business district. They also own theRadisson Royal Hotel andRadisson SAS Slavyanskaya, Vedomosti reported.

Another co-owner ofthe Sadovod market, Ilgam Ragimov, is aclose associate ofPresident Vladimir Putin, according toForbes.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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