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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Launch Trade Raids

Moscow police and sanitation officials have launched joint raids to stop illegal street trade and to prevent the spread of disease in the city, a police official said Monday.

Margarita Bogatyryova, deputy head of the western municipal district, said by phone that the Moscow sanitation inspectorate had recently asked municipal police for help in carrying out checks on unofficial street trade.

"They asked our policemen to accompany them for security purposes," she said. "Many of the sanitation inspectors are women and they are afraid of aggressive behavior by illegal food sellers."

Bogatyryova said one of these raids had been carried out Friday near Kievsky railway station. Ten policemen with several sanitation inspectors patrolled the area around the station in a bus, she said.

"Policemen asked sellers to show their trade license and inspectors checked the quality of the food," she said. "If there was anything wrong people were taken with their goods to the nearest police station."

She said offenders were fined, but declined to specify how much.

"Our raids are carried out on the basis of the August city decree which banned street trade without special permission of the local authorities and also on the basis of common sense," she said. "If we don't do this, cholera and other infectious diseases will spread to Moscow soon."