Fourteen Moscow Region prosecutors have been fired following last year’s multi-million dollar gambling scandal, chief regional prosecutor Alexander Anikin said on Tuesday.
“A total of 14 employees of town and district prosecutor’s offices [in the Moscow Region] have been dismissed over the past year,” Anikin said.
The gambling scandal broke out in the spring of 2011 when police uncovered a network of illegal casinos scattered across the Moscow Region. According to law enforcement authorities, high-ranking officials in the Russian Prosecutor's Office and the Interior Ministry were involved in the casino operations, which generated $5 to $10 million in revenue monthly.
Gambling has been illegal in Russia - except in four designated zones - since 2009, but flourishes as a huge undercover business.
Several criminal cases have been opened in connection with the gambling scandal, which Anikin said has undermined Moscow Region residents’ trust in prosecutors.
One of the suspects, former Moscow region deputy prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko, was detained in southern Poland on January 1. A spokeswoman for the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said on Tuesday Russia had officially requested Poland to extradite Ignatenko, who faces up to 12 years in jail if convicted.
A Polish appeals court upheld last week the decision to deny Ignatenko bail.