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Russian Man Arrested Over Fake EU Border Scam

Vitaly Nevar / TASS

A St. Petersburg resident has been detained after leading four South Asian migrants across a fake border crossing he had set up near Russia’s border with Finland, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Dozens of migrants attempted to cross Russia’s border with the European Union in summer 2018, when Russia launched a visa-free entry program for fans visiting for the FIFA World Cup. Many asylum seekers were detained while attempting to cross into Finland, Norway, the Baltic states and Poland during the tournament.

Russian border guards last Thursday detained the group of four migrants and their guide near the Finnish border, Interfax cited the local branch of Russia’s FSB border service as saying.

The guide had reportedly taken money from his clients after telling them they had successfully crossed into Finland when they passed a fake set of border markings in the Leningrad region.

A local court has ruled to deport the four South Asians for violating migration law and their guide is being investigated for fraud, Interfax reported.

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