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Top Russian legal official suspended in gambling scandal

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The Moscow Region's top prosecutor has been suspended amid a scandal over alleged links to illegal gambling, police say.

The Moscow Region's top prosecutor has been suspended amid a scandal over alleged links to illegal gambling, police say.

Police launched a probe into a gambling ring outside of Moscow last week after a tipoff from a member of the ring. Chief prosecutor Yury Chaika ordered immediate checks at regional prosecutors' offices across Russia.

A spokeswoman for the Russian prosecutor general's office said a number of Moscow Region legal officials would be suspended until the investigation was completed.

"During the period of the investigation, Moscow Region prosecutor Alexander Mokhov, his first deputy Alexander Ignatenko and several other officials will be suspended from their jobs," Marina Gridneva told RIA Novosti.

Investigators said last week gambling bosses paid for trips abroad for Ignatenko and other officials in exchange for keeping their operations a secret.

Three people, including kingpin Ivan Nazarov, and three police officers were arrested and are facing up to 10 years in prison.

Illegal casinos have mushroomed across Russia since a law came into force in July 2009 banning gambling everywhere except in four remote zones.

 

MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti)

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