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The Vologda Regional Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia finished investigation of a probe into six members of a criminal gang involved in organization of illegal gambling in two regions (Part 3 of Article 171.2 of the Criminal Code of Russia) and legalization (laundering) of money acquired in an illegal way (Paragraphs A, B of Part 4 of Article 174.1 of the Criminal Code of Russia).
In August 2019 as a result of a joint operation of officers of the regional investigative department and Vologda Regional Economic Security and Corruption Control Department of the Russia Interior Ministry intercepted activities of a whole network of gambling clubs located in Vologda Region. Apart from that, investigators proceeded to investigation of a probe launched by Novgorod Regional Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia into an analogical fact in Pestovo city. In total, investigation seized from the establishments 515 pieces of computer equipment and 6 gambling machines.
Investigators of the Investigative Committee of Russia notified organizers of illegal gambling about detention. Upon motion of investigation the court ruled to place 4 of them into custody and subject 2 others, including an administrator, to travel restrictions.
During the period of detention of the perpetrators investigators questioned a wide range of witnesses and examined the seized equipment that enabled them to reveal mechanism of organization of illegal gambling on the Internet under disguise of buying and selling binary options. After that the arrested members of the criminal group agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
During investigation the investigators of the Vologda Regional Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia questioned over 400 witnesses including owners of premises rented for the gambling clubs, staff and visitors of the clubs and carried out over 90 various examinations, 20 searches and inspections including places of residence of the perpetrators.
They managed to located and timely inspect the office used by organizers of the criminal activities as headquarters of some kind. It was used to manage the network of illegal clubs and to bring money earned by the clubs and jewelries bought with this money, During the search investigators seized over 4.5 million rubles and jewelries as material evidence for the probe. Apart from that, the investigators found in the office a collection of antique precious metal coins (dated XVI-XX centuries) worth over 9 million rubles.
Along with investigation into the offense investigators with operative surveillance of police officers established a complete list of the property of all persons involved in the case. Upon investigative motion the court ruled to arrest all their movable and immovable property, as well as money, shares in registered capital of organizations and even foreign currency totally worth over 80 million rubles.
According to investigation, the accused have been organizing and carrying out illegal gambling since 2016 in 9 establishments located in Cherepovets, Ustyuzhn, Veliky Ustyug and Vytegra in Vologda Region and Pestovo in Novgorod Region. For a long time the members of the criminal group carried out their illegal activities under disguise of selling promissory notes, and later binary options on behalf of AlphaFortisCorporation organization, assuring owners of premises and hired staff in legality of operations.
The investigators estimate that the total illegal revenue of the organized criminal group accounted for at least 87 million rubles, that is an especially large scale. In order to legalize the proceedings they were invested not only in jewelry and collection coins, but also in consumer cooperatives.
At present the investigation of the probe has been completed, final charges have been pressed against all perpetrators, the probe materials of a total of 70 volumes with an approved indictment have been sent for signing of the indictment.