Case Against Underground Casino Ring Closed Under Amnesty

A close up view of a royal flush and some chips and set of dice. Images of Money

The case against six organizers of a clandestine gambling ring in the Moscow region, supposedly protected by a number of senior prosecutors and regional police, has been closed under an economic amnesty.

A request for amnesty, made by the defendants last fall, was granted by the Investigative Committee and subsequently forwarded to the Prosecutor General's Office, Rosbalt.ru reported. However, there remains some debate between the two agencies as to whether the case should be considered closed in its own right, or whether it should be considered closed due to the amnesty.

The six men were originally charged with running an illegal business, before new regulations concerning underground gambling appeared after their arrest. Illegal business charges fell under an economic amnesty announced in 2013.

In fall 2012, the case against the defendants all but collapsed when the Prosecutor General's Office — which had opposed an inquiry by the Investigative Committee — argued that the arrest of key figures in the case had been illegal.

The subsequent standoff was deemed indicative of a "turf war" that dated back to September 2010 when then-President Dmitry Medvedev separated the two agencies, previously both part of the same body.

Though the case against the six organizers of the gambling ring has now been closed, three cases involving public prosecutors accused of offering protection for the racket remain open.

Read more