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Sakhalin Resident Receives Suspended Sentence for Organizing Illegal Immigration

A woman who registered more than 400 foreign workers at the address of her home on Sakhalin Island has received a suspended prison sentence for organizing illegal immigration, prosecutors said.

The 49-year-old pleaded guilty to having charged each of the immigrants between 2,000 to 3,000 rubles ($56 to $84 at the current exchange rate) to help them obtain immigration papers from late January to mid-June last year, the Sakhalin regional prosecutor's office said in an online statement Wednesday.

The charge of organizing illegal immigration is punishable by up to five years in prison, but a city court in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk showed lenience because of the woman's disability and her dependent children to hand down a suspended 1.5-year sentence.

Prosecutors have also opened an investigation against a young man in the same city, who had registered 83 foreigners as living in his 44-square meter apartment, the office said in a separate statement on Tuesday. None of the immigrants actually lived in the apartment.

Late last year, Russia adopted a law that increases criminal liability for fictitious residential registration, part of a crackdown on illegal immigration, one of the country's most sensitive political issues.

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