German police detain nine asylum seekers linked to Chechen crime ring: TV

November 2, 2016 9:33 AM EDT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German police on Wednesday raided locations in three states and detained nine asylum seekers suspected of being part of an organized Chechen crime ring, MDR television reported.

Police had said earlier that the raids were staged in Dresden, Leipzig, Pirna and Radeberg in the eastern state of Saxony as well as locations in the neighboring state of Thuringia and the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The police action followed an Oct. 25 operation in which refugee centers and 12 homes in Saxony, Thuringia, Bavaria, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia states were stormed on suspicion that they were housing people involved in financing terrorism. [ID:nL8N1CV5E6]

Police said the suspects arrested on Wednesday were predominantly Russian citizens of Chechen origin and involved in organized criminal activities such as bodily harm, blackmail, illegal restraint and harassment.

(Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum; editing by Mark Heinrich)



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