Underground city: Moscow police dig out over 200 undocumented migrants (VIDEO)

Moscow police have detained over 200 undocumented foreigners who lived and worked in an underground city made to keep them off the radar of city and federal officials - with a cafe, movie theater, casino and chicken coop.

When police raided the 'city' hidden beneath a market in the capital, they discovered a vast garment complex with 122 sewing machines.

While the workers -181 Vietnamese and 88 Central Asians - were sewing brand-name clothes around the clock, people above ground had no clue what was happening just under their feet. From outside, the underground tailor shops looked like a normal transport garage.

There was also time for entertainment in the hidden city. Police found one room designed to be a Turkish café, with an oven and brazier. There was also a movie theater with 35 seats and a poker room. 

screenshot from AFP video


The raid itself was carried out on May 31, but police only recently released video footage of the underground complex.

Raids on migrants are frequent in Russia’s capital, as Moscow is a destination for millions of people from the former Soviet Union and beyond seeking better work than is available at home. 

According to some estimates, Moscow is home to 10 migrants working without a registration for every one working legally. The Federal Migration Service believes that as many as 3 million undocumented migrants may currently reside in Russia.

In 2012, federal authorities deported 16,000 foreigners from the city for working without permits to do so.

screenshot from AFP video

screenshot from AFP video