The Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine (ESBU) detectives discover an illicit casino and unveil the presence of seven additional gambling establishments in the Kyiv region.
In a recent operation, the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine (ESBU) conducted raids on eight locations, leading to the discovery of an underground casino and seven other gambling establishments in the Kyiv region. The search yielded crucial evidence, including around 100 computers, poker tables, playing cards, chips, money transfer devices, documents, and UAH 100,000 (£2,200/$2,700/€2,500) in cash.
Authorities revealed that the gambling organizations had taken precautions to conceal their operations, exclusively catering to trusted customers who made reservations via phone. Additionally, these premises violated the curfew imposed from midnight to 5 am, which was implemented following the Russian invasion last year when martial law was introduced.
The illicit establishments, situated in various locations throughout the city of Bila Tserkva in the Kyiv Oblast, were cleverly hidden within residential buildings and kiosks.
Presently, ESBU detectives, with the support of local police forces, are conducting a pre-trial investigation. The police have accused the individuals involved in these activities of committing a criminal offense under Art. 203 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which pertains to illegal activities in organizing or conducting gambling and lotteries.
It’s worth noting that in July 2020, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s legislature, passed a bill to regulate gambling in the country. This legislation legalized land-based casinos, online gaming, poker, and betting under specific conditions.
This operation adds to the ongoing efforts of the ESBU, as they recently exposed a criminal conspiracy involving a major Ukrainian bank, its subsidiaries, and several gambling operators. In that case, the ESBU accused the participants of evading taxes by setting up unlicensed gaming platforms that processed payments through miscoded bank transactions.