The SBI has completed investigation against members of criminal organisation that organised multimillion-dollar illegal gambling business in Ukraine (VIDEO)


The employees of the SBI have completed a pre-trial investigation against members of a criminal organisation that organised an illegal gambling network in Ukraine. Thirty-four people, including a lawyer and two law enforcement officers, will be brought to trial.

As a reminder, until 24 February 2022, there were about 400 illegal gambling establishments operating in the country. After the start of the full-scale russian aggression, they stopped operating, but gradually began to reopen. The monthly turnover of gambling facilities in Kyiv and Odesa alone averaged UAH 300 million.

The underground facilities operated in different parts of the cities under strict secrecy. Customers were hooked on gambling to become regular visitors and encouraged to bring new ones.

The business owners were systematically paying law enforcement officers to enable unimpeded illegal activity.

The SBI conducted more than 200 searches at the suspects' residences, at the offices of those involved in the illegal gambling activities and at the premises where gambling activities were carried out.

The searches resulted in the seizure of more than 530 pieces of computer equipment, draft accounting, records, items and objects indicating the activities of gambling establishments.

Almost UAH 8 million in cash in various currencies was seized from the gambling establishments and the residences of the organisers.

32 persons, who organised and ensured the operation of the gambling establishments, are charged with creating a criminal organisation, illegal gambling, and giving an unlawful benefit to an official (Art. 255(1-2), Art. 28(4), Art. 203-2(2), Art. 28(4), Art. 369(3) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

The sanction of the article provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for up to 13 years with confiscation of property.

Two law enforcers are accused of inaction of a law enforcement officer regarding illegal gambling, obtaining an unlawful benefit, and participation in a criminal organisation (Art. 365-3, Part 1, Art. 368, Part 3, Art. 255 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

The sanction of the article provides for imprisonment for up to 15 years with confiscation of property.

Procedural guidance is provided by the Office of the Prosecutor General.