MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) - Russian police terminated the activity of an international organized crime gang which had been smuggling timber to China, the press service of the Interior Ministry's Main Department for Economic Security and Combating Corruption told reporters on Wednesday.
The gang has been under police surveillance for more than 12 months. Taking part in the special operation to detain the criminals were 300 police officers, investigators, detectives, special task force units, and at least 100 servicemen from the Interior Ministry's central office. The operation was conducted in the Leningrad, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk regions.
Four members of the criminal group including a Chinese citizen were convoyed to Moscow.
The damaged caused to the state during three years of timber smuggling is estimated at over two billion rubles /$60,486,000/. Police prevented the transportation to China of at least 40,000 cubic meters of illegally produced round timber. These products would have filled 1,000 freight cars. Searches at suspects' offices found office equipment, seals of commercial organizations and other financial documents of relevance. A search at the house of one of the detainees found an assault rifle and many rounds of ammunition.