Stakes are Higher Than law

Stakes are Higher Than law


As known, shadow gambling industry in Russia is prosecuted by law, up to criminal punishment. However, this measure is applied not always and not to everyone due to the peculiarities of the intricacies, in which interested persons who are, put it that way, certain criminal bosses take part.

After publications about the operation of an underground casino on Mosfilmovskaya Street in the building of the Korean Cultural Center belonging to the Embassy of North Korea in Moscow, the case of the underground gambling magnate Anton Bazhanov played out in fresh colors.

A couple of months ago, the Investigative Committee in Moscow publicly reported the completion of the investigation into the most large-scale gambling underground and the transfer of materials to the court. The criminal case consisted of 971 volumes. The special operation to suppress the activities of illegal casinos took place in the fall of 2018. Illegal gambling activities were conducted since May 2016 under the guise of the Panorama bookmaker's office under the signs Greenbet, Unionbet, and Vinline. Anton Bazhanov was recognized as the main suspect in the organization of all this. At a first glance, the law was satisfied.

Last fall there were rumors in the bohemian Moscow social circuit that a super-casino in the North Korean embassy on Mosfilmovskaya Street had reopened with even in the more glamour style. The notorious Anton allegedly takes clients personally on the strict recommendations of 4 old customers.

The media wrote that allegedly “Bazhanov found new partners in Ukraine, who invested several tens of millions of euros in a new rookery. The fact that the same Ukrainian investors, according to sources, are actively financing the nationalists in Kiev makes the story even more interesting.

In December of last year, after several Telegram channels wrote about the casino on Mosfilmovskaya street, it was shut down without any fuss but in February 2022 it was re-launched. Its several regular customers, on condition of anonymity, confirmed this fact. The mere existence of restaurants and clubs on the territory of embassies is not criminal. This is how many diplomatic missions make money in Moscow. They just should not break the law.

It turns out that colleagues from respected Telegram channels wrote about the dubious activities of this sweet couple back in 2020, with an interesting aspect of Bazhanov's wife's connections with the non-systemic opposition, major security forces and officials.

“There is now a separate proceeding on the case of money laundering through firms, including those registered to Bazhanov's wife. Interestingly, during the investigation the circle of Natalia Bazhanova's closest contacts came to knowledge. It included well-known bankers, businessmen, and, surprisingly, Alexei Navalny*. He was not just in the phone book. He was in active contact with Bazhanova,” wrote TG channel @Karaulny on 10.06.2020 14:40.

It should come as no surprise that Navalny and Co. were happy to accept donations from underground gambling houses, working off a corresponding media order to eliminate their rivals. However, not only non-systemic media killers and black bankers were among the friends of Bazhanov's wife, but also, most likely, high-ranking functionaries of the Interior Ministry.

Natalia Bazhanova is indeed an interesting person. Until the end of 2017, there was the scandalous Dmitry Zakharchenko among her active contacts. According to some reports, the colonel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Bazhanova were brought together by the narrowly known shadow banker German Gorbuntsov, who was one of her clients, on the subject of protection of the Bazhanovs' business, which was very useful in terms of attracting new victims for black banking. Rumor has it that for the patronage of an underground gambling network, Zakharchenko was paid 200,000 euros a month to his famous apartment. After Zakharchenko's arrest in December 2017. Bazhanov, apparently, urgently had to change the criminal protection racket but it did not help by the fall of 2018.

The reasons why Anton Bazhanov is now not only on the street, but has also reopened rookery in the North Korean embassy is still a question.

Original story:

* Alexei Navalny was included in the list of organizations and individuals in relation to whom there is information about their involvement in extremist activity or terrorism.

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