Russian special services, acting together with police, have exposed an international group engaged in forging documents for people hired by the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization, which is outlawed in Russia, the press center of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has reported.
"FSB, acting jointly with the Interior Ministry, conducted a multi-stage operation to dismantle the activities of an international criminal community whose organizers and participants are suspected of forging documents for citizens of Russia and CIS countries who illegally travelled to Syria in order to take part in hostilities on the side of the ISIL international terrorist organization, as well as militants sent by ISIL leaders to Russia to stage actions of a terrorist and extremist nature, and illegal migrants," the FSB press center said in a report seen by Interfax on Feb. 18.
As part of a criminal inquiry opened by the Main Investigations Department of the Russian Interior Ministry's Moscow branch, "a set of tactical and investigative measures were taken" in the Moscow area "to suppress the activities of the exposed group by detaining 14 of its members red-handed," it said.
A large number of forged documents, blank forms, seals, stamps, equipment for making them, as well as extremist literature were confiscated during searches, the press center said.
"The search operations were carried out following a tip-off that the production of fake passports, permits and other documents to legalize persons involved in terrorist activity was arranged in the Moscow area," it said.
According to the FSB, during the inquiry, special service officers established the identities of all members of the group and the role of each one of them, as well as uncovering secret print shops, laboratories and arrangements for selling forged documents.
"It is necessary to note that its participants acted in heightened secrecy, refusing to disclose their places of residence and frequently changing them, as well as using secret means of communication, including software that disguises users' data when working on the internet," the press center said.
Measures continue to search for persons to whom these forged documents were sold and hold them to account, it added.
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