In the near future, Russian courts will consider six or seven cases connected with laundering illegal incomes, head of the Russian Financial Monitoring Committee Viktor Zubkov told journalists. "The criminal cases have long been filed; in the near future, maybe even in this month, they will be discussed in court," he pointed out. Zubkov specified that the Monitoring Committee was analyzing financial schemes; in the event it finds anything suspicious about them, it passes the information to law-enforcement authorities, i.e. the Interior Ministry, the General Prosecutor's Office, or the Federal Security Service (FSB). According to him, these cases are against both legal entities and private persons. Additionally, the head of the Committee stressed that the number of materials the Committee passed to law-enforcement authorities had been growing all the time. For example, in 2002 it passed 60 such cases; in the first quarter of 2003 it passed another 60 cases.
Zubkov also reported that among the materials, which would be passed to law-enforcement authorities in the near future, there are cases connected with suspicion of financing terrorism. "However, there are only a few such cases," he added. "It is law-enforcement authorities and the court which will decided how to classify these cases," the official stressed.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building