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Late Chechen President's Son Charged In Document Scam

VILNIUS -- The son of the late separatist Chechen President Djokhar Dudayev has been charged with selling forged Lithuanian passports, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Vilnius Regional Prosecutor Office representatives told an RFE/RL correspondent today that Degi Dudayev was caught with several forged Lithuanian passports that he planned to hand to unidentified Chechens. The time of Dudayev's arrest was not specified.

Four residents of the Lithuanian city of Kaunas were later arrested and charged with forging passports and other documents.

Dudayev is suspected of acting as an intermediary between the forgers and Chechens abroad who planned to use the forged documents to enter the European Union. Investigators say that Degi Dudayev could have been involved in that illegal business for some time.

Dudayev has been released but was asked not to leave Lithuania before the investigation is completed. The Lithuanian authorities have confiscated all his internal and travel documents.

Degi Dudayev is a Georgian passport holder and has permanent residence rights in Lithuania.

His father, the first president of the self-proclaimed independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, was killed by a Russian missile in April 1996.

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