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German Police Break Up Russian Forgery Gang

Wassily Kandinsky was one of the famous artists whose work was forged. (file photo)
German police say they have broken up a multimillion-dollar international art-forgery gang and have arrested two suspected ringleaders.

The gang is thought to include six counterfeiters who specialize in painting forgeries of Russian artists -- including Wassily Kandinsky.

The crackdown included raids in a large number of apartments, offices, warehouses, and galleries in the cities of Wiesbaden, Mainz, Stuttgart, Munich, Hamburg, and Cologne.

More than 1,000 objects, including suspected forged paintings and sale documentation, were seized.

Searches were also carried out in Switzerland and Israel.

Police say the suspected counterfeiters are of Russian, Israeli, and German-Tunisian nationality.

Since 2005, they are thought to have sold more than 400 forgeries of paintings by artists like Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, and Alexei von Jawlensky.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters