Photo: Joy Mining Machinery
Police in Russia have arrested a gang that had been illegally mining natural resources for several years, The Moscow News reports.In a raid, authorities confiscated trucks, construction equipment, helicopters, and a plane, according to the Interior Ministry’s website
The “peat-bog” gang which operated in the Solnechnogorsk, Khimki and Dmitrovo regions and was headed by an ex-convict from Moscow, had been active for eight years. It was illegally mining sand, peat, and lumber from the Khimki forest, setting up rubbish dumps where they cut down trees.
The resources were then sold to commercial companies and state organisations working in construction, according to the Interior Ministry. The government has suffered more than 1.5 billion rubles ($51 million) in losses.
Locals claim numerous complaints to local authorities were not followed up on. Residents were also afraid to complain, as the gang would threaten violent retaliation.
The gang has been charged with illegal business activity and fraud.
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