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Russia Cracks Down On Illegal Banking

MOSCOW -- Seven men suspected of illegal banking activities with possible links to a banned Islamic group have been arrested in Moscow and Russia's Perm Oblast.

Russia's Interior Ministry said the arrested individuals were citizens of Russia, Georgia, and Uzbekistan but did not specify when the arrests were made.

The ministry said those arrested had allegedly organized a banking system to assist illegal migrant workers in Russia to funnel illegally earned finances to their countries, and that the group used their banking system to support the Hizb ut-Tahrir international organization.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a London-based Sunni political organization that seeks to unite all Muslim countries into an Islamic caliphate. Russia's Supreme Court banned Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2003, branding its supporters as "extremists."