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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Start to Use 30-Day Detention

Moscow police have started to detain suspects for up to 30 days under special powers granted last month by President Boris Yeltsin's decree on crime, a spokesman for the city police said Wednesday. Vladimir Vershkov said that all those arrested since the June 14 decree on suspicion of mafia activity or membership of organized-crime groups were being held for up to 30 days. "Thirty days is enough for a policeman to find out the background of a suspect and to determine all his links with crime," Vershkov said. "But if it is not necessary to hold a suspect for the whole period we will not do it." Vershkov said police last week had issued 30-day detention orders on three members of the Solntsevskaya group, one of the most influential mafia gangs operating in Moscow. The gang runs an extortion racket in southwest Moscow. Vershkov said the arrests were carried out in connection with an investigation into the murder of a banker, Nikolai Likhachev, in December last year. In the same raid police seized 74 firearms and explosive devices, including sub-machine guns, grenade-launchers and anti-personnel mines, Vershkov said.