Tent Camp Can Hold 1,000 Detained Migrants

More than 1,000 suspected illegal immigrants detained in a wave of raids at Moscow markets this week can be placed at a specially organized tent camp until decisions on their deportations are made.

Police arrested around 1,400 people, most of whom are allegedly Vietnamese citizens, Interfax reported Friday. Others are believed to be natives of Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.

Moscow police senior official Vyacheslav Kozlov told BBC Russia that the identification process of the migrants would take up to two days, since most of them didn't speak Russian and either lacked documents or had false ones.

"We have no places to keep foreign citizens. There are only 400 places for such people in Moscow police offices, that is why we asked the government to organize the tent camp," Kozlov said.

He added that food, water, toilets and medical assistance will be provided for those in the camp's 20 tents. The migrants will also be under constant police surveillance.

The Investigative Committee said Thursday that raids on large markets would continue across the country in order to reveal "corrupt ties" of illegal immigrants to law enforcement authorities.

It is believed Wednesday's raids were provoked by an incident at Moscow's Matveyevsky Market on Saturday, when police detained two Dagestani natives suspected of severely beating a policeman. The attack came in response to the policeman's attempt to detain another Dagestani native suspected of raping a 15-year-old girl.

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that local police officers were paid off by the market workers, which explained why the beaten officer's colleagues did not stop the fight.

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