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Daghestan District Governor Arrested For Alleged Links With Criminal Group

A district governor in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region of Daghestan has been arrested on suspicion of financing a criminal group.

Moscow's Basmanny district court ruled on July 29 that Andrei Vinogradov must stay in pretrial detention until at least September 28.

Vinogradov, along with Daghestani lawmaker Sagid Murtazaliyev and local resident Omar Asadulayev, are suspected of financially supporting a gang involved in a series of serious high-profile crimes, including murders of local officials.

Vinogradov pleaded not guilty at the hearing.

Murtazaliyev and Asadulayev are currently abroad and their whereabouts are unknown, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on July 29.

Daghestan is beset by violence linked to an Islamist insurgency rooted in two post-Soviet separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya as well as organized crime, business turf wars, political disputes, and clan rivalry.

Moderate Muslims, journalists, police, and officials are regularly targeted in attacks.

Based on reporting by and Interfax

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