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INTERNATIONAL-NEWSBRI 09-09

FSB SAYS 10 MILLION FOREIGNERS ILLEGALLY RESIDING IN RUSSIA

MOSCOW — More than 10 million illegal immigrants are currently residing in Russia, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Tuesday.

Maj.-Gen. Valentin Letunovsky, who heads the FSB’s border service, said: "Illegal migration is an extremely profitable business. According to expert data, revenue from transporting illegal migrants is equal to two thirds of revenue from the drug business. The damage this inflicts on the country’s economy totals 450 billion rubles ($17.6 billion)."

According to FSB data, over 21 million people officially enter Russia each year for transit purposes, tourism, and for work, of whom many register and receive work permits through the Federal Migration Service.

Around 150,000 illegal migrants are deported from Russia each year, Letunovsky said.

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