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NEW DELHI, June 5 (Itar-Tass) - The Indian authorities have opened criminal cases against a group of Russians suspected of setting up a branch of the MMM financial pyramid. Among the suspects is Sergei Mavrodi, who is directly involved in the appearance in India of Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox India, local mass media outlets reported here on Wednesday.
Seventeen persons are under investigation, including Mavrodi, who is at large, director of MMM-India Alexei Muratov, producer from Yekaterinburg Andrei Kilin, and Denis Rozhkov and Mikhail Glukhov. All other suspects are Indian citizens. Criminal proceedings against them were opened over fraudulent misappropriation of large sums.
A Mumbai police report /State Maharashtra/ notes that the MMM branch had no license and had not been registered in India. Its organizers had collected money for charity purposes in the Indian states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Panjab. Some 100,000 Indian were cheated of two million dollars, the report said.
On Wednesday, Muratov, Rozhkov and Kilin were transferred to a hospital in the town of Guwahati, Assam, after their health deteriorated because of the hungerstrike.
Legal services for the Russians are provided by a local lawyer, who has asked the court to release them on bail. The detainees insist on their innocence saying the charges brought against them are groundless. The Russian Embassy confirmed the detention of the Russian citizens. None of them has requested assistance from the consulate department yet, the Embassy said.