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Town 'Decriminalized'

Police have “decriminalized” a town in Saratov region, detaining 36 alleged members of two mafia gangs — a racketeer group and a drug-trafficking ring — that have been terrorizing it for years, Interior Ministry’s press service said Monday, Interfax reported.

Two high-ranking officials and a thief-in-law are among the detained, the report said, without identifying them.

The suspects are linked to 32 criminal cases opened over crimes committed in the town of Balakovo between 1994 and 2007, the report said.

More similar operations in the region are in progress, the ministry said.

Police began a crackdown on criminal gangs in small locations after a gruesome murder of 12 in Krasnodar region’s Kushchyovskaya village last year revealed that a gang was de facto controlling the village for years. 

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