Russia is starting the extradition from Poland of a former Moscow Region Deputy Prosecutor over his involvement in a multi-million dollar undercover gambling scam, investigators told RAPSI news agency on Monday.
“The extradition documents have been translated into Polish, the language of the country where the suspect was detained…The documents have been delivered to the Prosecutor General's Office,” Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
The wanted man, former Deputy Prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko, was placed on the international wanted list after police undercovered a massive gambling operation in spring 2011.
A businessman, Ivan Nazarov allegedly operated illegal casinos in 15 towns in 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 four designated zones since 2009, but flourishes in a huge undercover business.
Poland's Internal Security Agency detained Ignatenko at the popular Polish ski resort of Zakopane on January 1 and he was placed in custody three days later.
Warsaw is expecting a request for the suspect's extradition from Poland, Polish Prosecutor General's Office Press Secretary Mateus Martenuk told RIA Novosti. As soon as the court receives the materials, he said, it will examine whether it is possible to hand Ignatenko over to Russia.
The Polish Justice Minister will make a final decision on the extradition.