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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Limonov Arrested in Weapons Probe

Eduard Limonov, an author and head of the ultranationalist National Bolshevik Party, has been arrested on suspicion of participating in the illegal procurement of weapons, according to media reports.

The Federal Security Service arrested Limonov and an unspecified number of National Bolshevik Party members across Russia last week and has opened an investigation into whether they "were attempting to illegally acquire large consignments of firearms, ammunition and explosives," the Kremlin-connected web site reported Saturday. said several of the suspects were caught red-handed.

Limonov, who was expelled from the Soviet Union in the 1970s, rose to prominence after publishing the controversial book "It's Me — Edik" in 1979. In addition to leading the Bolshevik faction, he is the editor of newspaper Limonka, which is slang for hand grenade, and writes a column for the eXile, an English-language alternative newspaper.

Limonka's founder Sergei Aksyonov was arrested with Limonov and is also in custody, news reports said.

Limonov's lawyer Sergei Belyak said his client is being held in Moscow's Lefortovo Prison and is expected to appear in court Wednesday, Interfax reported.

He said no charges have been brought yet against Limonov.

Limonov was picked up April 7 near the Altai village of Bannoye, Interfax said. Bannoye is known for being a pilgrimage site for followers of the early 20th-century Russian mystic and painter Nikolai Roerich.

Interfax quoted unidentified NBP sources as saying dozens of special service agents dressed in camouflage swooped down on the house where Limonov was staying and seized him.

Segodnya quoted an eyewitness as saying several thousand dollars had been confiscated. The witness said the money was payment for a book from Limonov.

Belyak told Interfax that Limonov had been planning to write a book about former Krasnoyarsk Aluminum head Anatoly Bykov.

Belyak also said that Limonov's arrest may be connected with the detainment of three NBP members suspected of illegally obtaining and storing pistols in Saratov and Ufa a month ago, Kommersant newspaper reported. He added, however, that the arrest could very well be an intimidation tactic, "a signal from the regime to all left-radical parties in order to tell them who is boss." eXile