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High-Ranking Russian Police Arrested For Illegal Lottery

ST. PETERSBURG -- Several high-ranking police officers in St. Petersburg are being accused of involvement in an illegal lottery, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

About 30 people have been arrested for operating the lottery, which reportedly victimized many elderly people in St. Petersburg through a system set up in the city's metro stations.

It was active until December 2008. The suspects in detention reportedly said the illegal operation was organized and controlled by city police officials.

Yevgeny Vyshenkov, the deputy director of the Investigative Journalism Association, told RFE/RL that the major achievement in this case is the fact
that officials at the city's Internal Affairs Department are openly discussing the crime.

Two police chiefs suspected of involvement in the alleged scam are under arrest while two others have been instructed not to leave the city while an investigation is conducted. Several of the suspected police officers involved in the lottery have reportedly left the city and their whereabouts are unknown.