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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.





 


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