Russian Federal Security Service found illegal gambling halls in 15 towns of the Moscow region, according to investigators, they worked under the patronage of prosecutor and police in the region. The office of the alleged organizer of the network, entrepreneur Ivan Nazarov, was located in the former house of receptions by wanted oligarch Boris Berezovsky at the Novokuznetskaya street in Moscow. During the raid on Saturday night they seized copies of important documents related to the case of Berezovsky.
This historic mansion now occupied by gallery "Triumph", its co-owner is a friend of Nazarov. The reason for search has become a criminal case against this businessman, who, as it turned out, also had the ID of Internal Affairs officer of Moscow region, as Interfax reported.
In the office at the Novokuznetskaya street they found notarized copies of documents on overseas property of Berezovsky and his daughter, personal documents of oligarch and his close relatives, documents for offshore companies by Berezovsky, a large number of seals of various companies, expensive paintings by Rembrandt and Picasso valued at over $ 5 million.
Lawyer Alxander Dobrovinsky told the publication, that he does not understand the motives behind the investigation. "Since when did friendship with figurant in a criminal case has become the reason for a search?" All these actions can be regarded only as an attempt to intimidate," he said. The expert alleged that after counting the damage caused during the search in the gallery a lawsuit will be served to law enforcement agencies.
Lawyer Dobrovinsky said in an interview with RBC that the owner of "Triumph" Ivan Nazarov had been detained in Moscow for 72 hours. According to the lawyer, Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Malinovsky refused to bring criminal case under Article 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud) against his client.
Earlier in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency, the co-owner of the gallery -Yemelyan Zakharov - the press refers to him as the owner and the co-owner of "Triumph" - said that his friend Nazarov had been arrested the night before. However, Zakharov called Nazarov not a co-owner, but a collector, "who had been visiting the gallery frequently."
Law enforcement officers conducted 35 raids on the residences of the defendants in the criminal case. They seized about 1200 slot machines, accounting records, more than 60 stamps of various fly-by-night firms. Income of illegal gaming network ranged from 5 to 10 million dollars a month, considering the fact that it was carried out within three years.
According to the report of the FSB, which the agency refers to, during the searches, they seized photos and video to prove the existence of a sustainable relationship between managers and staff of the Moscow region prosecutor's office and representatives of the "shadow" gambling. "
During the searches, they also seized accounting and financial documents confirming the expenditure of large sums of money to pay for a foreign holiday of the heads of prosecutor's office and the police department of the Moscow region, including proof of payment for the services protecting illegal gambling», according to the report.
They also seized "documents of title to a large number of land located in the elite districts of the Moscow region - Krasnogorsky, Solnechnogorsky, Odintsovsky; lists of game rooms, controlled by persons involved in the case, a large number of questionnaires and copies of passports of the candidates to work in the underground gambling houses, documents for real estate abroad - in Spain and Hungary. "
Boris Berezovsky himself has already commented on the news. He told the Russian News Service, "that he has never had any relation to gambling and that he had never heard of Ivan Nazarov. At the same time he considers reports about searches in his former house of receptions in Moscow a provocation and an attempt to distract public attention from the scandal surrounding the sentence of ex-Yukos head, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.