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Federal Migration Service chief suggests harsher penalties for illegal migration

February 02, 2012, 13:56 UTC+3
Director of the Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovsky suggested punishing illegal migration masterminds with jail terms for up to ten years
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MOSCOW, February 2 (Itar-Tass) — Director of the Federal Migration Service (FMS) Konstantin Romodanovsky suggested punishing illegal migration masterminds with jail terms for up to ten years.

Romodanovsky told reporters it was necessary to toughen the penalty under Article 322.1 of Russia's Criminal Code 'organization of illegal migration".  "Part 1 of this article stipulates up to two years in prison and Part 2 (if the crime is committed by an organized group) up to five years in prison. I suggest toughening the penalty under Part 2 up to ten years. This category of crimes belongs to serious offenses, which will enable law-enforcement bodies to use a complete set of operations/search measures and expose all the offenders.

As a rule, illegal migration is organized by a group of persons. "These are people who actually engage in human trafficking, creating a problem that is borderline with slavery," the FMS director emphasized.

He also suggested to increase the term for entry ban from three to five years. "Believe me, I've looked through these violators' cases; every year they are caught breaking law two or three times. "These are "regulars" in the sense of violations. Do we really need these people who snub our rules and laws? I don't think so. It is because of these persons that our citizens have certain sentiments," Romodanovsky said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for introducing criminal responsibility for natural persons and legal entities that provoke illegal migration.

"We have to toughen sanctions against those who provoke illegal migration; this concerns both natural persons and legal entities - those who organize illegal migration flows, employ people without permission, and, in effect use them as slaves deprived of rights."

"So far, such violations have mostly been punished by symbolic fines. I believe it is necessary to introduce  criminal responsibility," Putin stated, adding that Article 322 of the Criminal Code would have to be amended.

"It is proposed to close entry into Russia for a term of five to ten years, or longer for those who are caught in repeated malicious violations of the migration legislation or expelled from the country by the court ruling," he underlined.

Putin acknowledged that it was hardly possible to eliminate illegal migration, yet the state must do everything to minimize it: "in this respect, coherent police functions and authority of the migration services must increase. 

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