Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Russian Authorities Arrest 100 People in Illegal Gambling Crackdown

Casino News Daily
Russian Authorities Arrest 100 People in Illegal Gambling Crackdown

The Russian police have revealed an underground casino network in Moscow during a joint operation of several investigative offices. Following a long investigation and more than 80 searches of businesses and homes, authorities have detained 100 people, including the leader of the criminal organization, A. Bazhanov.

The news of the massive operation that uncovered one of the largest criminal syndicates in the Russian capital was announced Wednesday by the press service of ICR, an abbreviation for the Investigative Committee of Russia, which is the country’s anti-corruption agency. The investigation, however, was conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB, the Federal Security Service, which is the main successor agency to the former KGB.

With this large-scale operation, authorities revealed that the criminal organization has created a sophisticated network of 15 illegal casinos and gaming clubs in Moscow. They operated under the guise of legal bookmaker Panorama LLC since May 2016 and provided illegal gambling outside Panorama’s official premises. The betting company is working under several brand names, including GreenBet, UnionBet, and WinLine. Members of the criminal organization managed to conduct unsanctioned gambling operations using specialized equipment.

Investigators have cracked down on the activities of 15 Moscow casinos and detained 100 individuals after a huge number of offices and apartments were searched, ICR’s Yulia Ivanova said. Initially, 47 of them will be charged with different crimes, she added. According to her office, investigators have united a total of 12 criminal cases. This is certainly one of the largest operations against illegal gambling businesses in Russia in the past few years.

Underground Casinos Earned Millions of Rubles Every Month

The criminal syndicate that organized the illegal gambling and betting operations probably started as a much smaller activity of A. Bazhanov. Over a period of 2 years, the network expanded to around 15 gaming clubs and casinos, which generated revenues worth hundreds of millions of rubles every month. The leaders of the group had a lavish lifestyle, according to investigators. They purchased a top-tier real state, as well as expensive cars and other luxury items.

The structure of the network was neatly set up, so the different levels of the operation functioned separately. Many of the individuals did not know their fellow syndicate members but it was the leaders of the organization who were surrounded by the ultimate secrecy. Various technological innovations were used such as IP phones and messaging apps, there was a strict hierarchy, and accomplices’ tasks were clearly distributed.

This is not the first investigation against illegal gambling groups in Russia, with various underground betting shops and gaming clubs being uncovered across the country. According to the data revealed by authorities, however, this large-scale operation has eliminated one of the largest networks of illegal casinos in Moscow. The organization led by Bazhanov is also one of the biggest criminal groups uncovered in the capital.

The post Russian Authorities Arrest 100 People in Illegal Gambling Crackdown appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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