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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Crime Against Foreigners Rises 43 Percent

The number of crimes against foreigners from states outside the former Soviet Union jumped 43 percent in Moscow during the first seven months of this year compared with the same period last year, city police said Wednesday.

From January to July of this year, 956 crimes were reported against non-CIS foreigners - 12 of them murders, Viktor Seroshtan, head of the police Special Service Directorate, said at a press conference.

Foreigners from Europe and America were also affected, with 49 crimes committed against Germans, 46 against Americans, 45 against citizens of the former Yugoslavia, 28 against Italians and 23 against Britons, according to the directorate statistics. Data on other nationalities was not available.

Most of the crimes were thefts and robberies from citizens of Third World countries victimized by gangs of their compatriots, Seroshtan said.

"Car thefts and other property thefts are foreigner's most frequent problem", Seroshtan said. "However, many crimes remain undetected because the victims do not always complain to police".

Seroshtan noted that areas around foreigner's residences were the sites of most car thefts, unlike popular casinos, restaurants and discotheques which offer better security.

On the streets, foreigners are often mugged by Gypsy children, but police find it difficult to punish the attackers, Seroshtan added.

"We can't charge 8- to 10-year-old children", he said.

Vladimir Vershkov of the city police press service added that very few crimes committed by prostitutes against foreigners were reported by the victims.

He also warned foreign businessmen against jumping at easy deals saying that lack of precaution typically led to foreigners being cheated.

However, he said that this advice was not necessarily connected with the recent murder of the British citizen Greg Tusztan, 31, in a Moscow hotel. Vershkov said that the case was still under investigation and no information could be released.

Vasily Kuptsov, head of the city police Investigation Department, put the responsibility for much of crime in Moscow on visitors from other CIS states, notably the Caucasian republics.

He said the situation was complicated by lack of visa regulations for CIS citizens who can still travel freely in Russia and reside in most Russian cities without problems.

Citing 19 car thefts that occurred in Moscow in the last 10 days, Kuptsov said that most of them were committed by "persons of Caucasian origin".