Moscow, Dec 19 : Russia's Federal Security Service has shut down an illegal operation that smuggled gold from Siberia to the western mountain region of North Caucasus.

Over six kg of the precious metal worth over $350,000 at current prices was seized.

Agents detained six suspects with about $170,000 in cash.

The gold was transported from Krasnoyarsk region to the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia, where it was melted down and used to make jewellery. The operation produced the gold items without license and paid no taxes.

The illegal operation continued for several years. The detainees face up to seven years in prison if convicted.


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