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SERBIAN CRACKDOWN ON GAMBLING
18th May, 2011 at 04:56:49
Major blitz involved 600 officers
There is speculation in Serbia that a blitz on illegal gambling last week may have been motivated at least partially by the need to eliminate corruption among some government officials.
The massive anti-gambling drive took most by surprise as 600 officers simultaneously raided some 150 locations across the nation, arresting 17 allegedly illegal operators and confiscating large sums of money and unauthorised gambling machines, according to the Serbian news agency Tanjug.
Among those apprehended were five inspectors from the State Directorate for Gambling, charged with receiving bribes and abuse of office. Others were charged with conspiracy to commit criminal acts and unauthorised gambling.
Officials estimated that the loss to the Serbian state through these criminal activities was in excess of Euro 1 million.
According to the State Prosecutor for Organized Crime, Miljko Radisavljevic, gambling inspectors received cash and other gifts from the owners of betting locations and casinos. In turn, they would alert owners to scheduled inspections, which would allow them to move illegal gambling machines offsite.
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