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Russia: More Than 9,000 Organized Crime Groups Plague Country

Moscow, 13 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov today said that his ministry knows of more than 9,000 organized crime groups comprising some 100,000 people currently operating in Russia.

Interfax quotes Kulikov as making the announcement at a Moscow meeting of government officials focused on measures to combat organized crime.

He said crimes committed by organized groups had risen by more than 94 percent in the past five years. Kulikov said many cases go unsolved due to the lack of a unified state policy for fighting organized crime, gaps in the legal framework, and lack of coordination between various law enforcement agencies.

The interior minister said a report on fighting organized crime was submitted to President Boris Yeltsin earlier this week. Yeltsin has recently called for intensifying the struggle against organized crime at all levels from local to federal.