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17 April 2004 -- Russian authorities say about 9,000 illegal immigrants will be expelled in the wake of a vast police operation.

Russian Deputy Interior Minister Aleksandr Chekalin told a news briefing today that about 90,000 employers were checked in March for illegal foreign workers.

According to official data, about 370,000 violations of the law were registered in a 10-day police raid and more than 2,200 criminal charges were filed. Some 140,000 breaches of visa regulations were noted, Chekalin said.

He said that Russian authorities do not want to punish foreign nationals who seek work, but instead require them to go through the proper channels and pay taxes and social security contributions.

(AFP/TASS/newsru.com)
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