Greenfieldbank offices searched in illegal casino ring case
MOSCOW, February 16 - RAPSI. Investigators are searching Greefieldbank offices in Moscow to seize documents as part of their investigation into a renowned gambling case in the Moscow Region, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told journalists on Thursday.
Uncovered in 2011, the high-profile illegal casino scandal incited a public uproar. Businessman Ivan Nazarov allegedly operated illegal casinos in 15 towns across the Moscow Region. According to law enforcement authorities, several high-ranking officials of prosecutor's offices and the Interior Ministry were involved in the casino operations, which generated between $5 million and $10 million in revenue monthly.
Investigators have detained several regional prosecutors and police officers. An arrest warrant has also been issued for former Deputy Prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko, who is to be extradited from Poland.
Markin said the searches of the bank's head office and three branches are conducted as part of the case against former prosecutors suspected of accepting bribes and protecting illegal casinos.
According to the spokesman, Nazarov allegedly paid bribes to prosecutors in U.S. dollars.
"Nazarovs assistants exchanged rubles for dollars in at Greenfieldbank offices. The exchanges were performed in gross violation of currency law, i.e. without inspecting the ID documents of the individuals exchanging amounts exceeding 15,000 rubles," Markin said.
"Under the law on banks, repeat violations over one year may be grounds for revoking a license. The committee will soon deliver the relevant materials to the Central Bank," he added.
Greenfieldbank was established in 1994. It is a participant in the deposit insurance system. Its charter capital is 90 million rubles ($3 million). Its shareholders include Dmitry Shunin (50.5 percent), Svetlana Borodina (14.92 percent), Yelena Medvedeva (4.56 percent), ZAO Greenfield (6.49 percent) and OOO Lott (19.8 percent).
In the Central Banks estimate, Greenfieldbank's profits amounted to 5.155 million rubles ($172,000) in 2011.
RAPSI could not reach the bank management by any telephone number indicated either on its own or the Central Banks website.