Mar 28, 2016

Montenegro to Expel Alleged Members of Japanese Cult

Montenegro will deport more than 50 Russian and four Japanese citizens suspected of being members of a Japanese religious sect Aum Shinrikyo, which attacked the Tokyo metro with sarin in 1995.
Dusica Tomovic
Balkan Insight
March 28, 2016

A group of Russian and Japanese nationals detained in Montenegro will be expelled by midnight on Monday after it was found that they had no temporary residence permits allowing them to stay in the country for more than 30 days.
In a joint raid by police and the National Security Agency, the 55 Russian and four Japanese nationals were arrested on Friday in the capital Podgorica and the nearby town Danilovgrad. 
“Detention was based on the information available by Montenegro’s police about their possible involvement in the international organised crime,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday. 
They were all released after questioning on Saturday and no charges were filed, but they will now be deported.
“Taking into account the fact that the foreign citizens’ stay in Montenegro had not been registered in accordance with standard procedures, they must soon be expelled from the country,” the Russian ministry said. 
According to media claims, the detained foreigners are members of the Aum Shinrikyo sect, a Japanese doomsday cult founded in 1984 and banned in a number of countries around the world.
Aum Shinrikyo gained international notoriety when it carried out the deadly Tokyo subway sarin attack in 1995 and was found to have been responsible for another smaller sarin attack the previous year.
The 1995 attack left 13 people dead, and more than 6,000 others suffering the effects of the nerve gas. More than 20 years later, many of the survivors say they still suffer from vision problems and fatigue.#Media in Montenegro quoted senior police officials as saying that none of detained foreigners participated in the Tokyo attack in 1995.
During their court hearing, they said that they came to Montenegro as tourists. 
Members of the sect allegedly rented an entire hotel in Danilovgrad for ten days, without staff.
After the arrest, forensic experts took away for inspection various devices, mostly mobile phones and computers, which had been used by the suspects.
Police in Montenegro have not yet issued an official statement about the arrests.
A protest against Aum Shinrikyo in Japan in 2009 | Photo: Wikimedia/Abasaa

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