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Armed Robbery Suspect Linked to NGO

A suspect arrested for armed robbery carried a membership card of a human rights organization that opposes police brutality, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

A subsequent search of the man's Moscow apartment also revealed that he was in possession of a number of dangerous weapons.

The suspect, who was not identified, showed up at the front door of a 25-year-old Moscow woman's apartment in March, posing as a pizza deliveryman, police said. When she opened the door, he forced his way in and threatened her with a gun.

"He took her tablet computer, smartphone, a fur coat and some jewelry before fleeing the scene of the crime," the ministry said in a statement.

The suspect was detained Tuesday.

At his home, "police seized an identification card for a human rights organization that opposes police brutality," the statement said, without specifying which NGO.

It was unclear whether he belonged to the NGO. Nongovernmental organizations have faced increasing state pressure after the Kremlin accused some of being political tools to discredit or weaken it.

Police also found four flare guns, seven air rifles, a replica assault rifle and two radio transceivers.

It transpired that the suspect previously had been convicted for a series of robberies and the illegal sale of weapons.

He has been placed in custody as police investigate whether he is connected with any other crimes.

If charged and convicted of armed robbery, he faces up to eight years in prison.

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