Russia detains 4 US citizens, deports 2 of them

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 8, 2019
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Russian authorities have detained four U.S. citizens for violating immigration laws and deported two of them, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

The U.S. citizens were detained in the Russian Black Sea port city of Novorossiysk, Zakharova said, without providing their names or other details.

The Primorsky District Court in the city said on its website that it had issued an order of administrative punishment for U.S. citizens David Gaaga and Cole Brodovsky, without providing further details.

Russian and foreign media outlets reported that the detainees were volunteers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often known as the Mormon Church. Russia's Dozhd TV channel reported that the detainees served at the mission of the church in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

They were detained in the assembly house of the Mormon church in Novorossiysk on suspicion that they taught English without the necessary permission, the channel reported, quoting the father of one of the detainees.

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