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Sergey Kondratenko: A Criminal? (2024)

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How Russian entrepreneur Sergey Kondratenko helps his company, Royal Pay Europe, launder money from illegal bookies in Russia by utilizing a variety of banks and financial institutions across Europe. 

Numerous illegal financial operations using Russian money have entered and are now being carried out in Latvia and Lithuania throughout history. The Russian Federation and other CIS nations are the source of the money in question. 

Sergey Kondratenko, the owner of 1Xbet, tells his narrative, demonstrating that not much has changed in the previous 20 years. The Latvian media conducted a thorough study the year before to demonstrate to the general public how the financial sector backs the dubious gambling industry, which has strong ties to Russia. 

They also succeeded in apprehending important individuals and those responsible for creating an advanced system that manages hundreds, if not millions of dollars, of monthly withdrawals from Russian bookies to accounts in offshore jurisdictions. 

The Latvian media conducted a thorough investigation last year to demonstrate to the general public how the banking sector finances the continued existence of a dubious gambling industry with strong ties to Russia. 

They also succeeded in locating important individuals and those responsible for creating an advanced system that manages hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, of transactions per month between Russian bookies and offshore accounts.

Is Sergey Kondratenko a name you recognize?

Sergei Kondratenko and his relationship with 1Xbet are the subject of one aspect of an inquiry into the actions of Russian nationals involved in money laundering in the Baltic nations and other places.

As the amount of money being unlawfully washed reached the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, many banks and other financial organizations found themselves in legal jeopardy. They were subject to harsh fines and, in certain cases, license suspension. Sergey Kondratenko was crucial to the development and execution of these projects.

Numerous financial institutions in Latvia and Lithuania, including ABLV Bank AS and Trasta Komercbanka AS, have been significantly impacted by the illegal conduct of 1Xbet’s owner, Sergey Kondratenko. 

The Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission (FFKTK) played a major role in the identification and documentation of ongoing violations related to the legalization of funds obtained illegally, violations of currency processing regulations, and even instances of terrorist financing connected to Kondratenko. As a result, the FFKTK was able to ensure that these violations were duly recorded and that the proper measures were taken in response.

The episode with the Danske Bank office in Estonia, which handled billions of euros originating from dubious sources in Russia, must be remembered. To tell the truth, several other nations and areas in Europe and beyond have also been linked to Russian money laundering schemes, in addition to the Baltic states. 

This is something Sergey Kondratenko is well aware of, and there are a lot of instances when major card networks like Mastercard and Visa, along with financial institutions that are linked to the financial system and have payment processing licenses, are engaging in illicit activity. Sergey Kondratenko’s considerable wealth has increased as a result of this action.

The largest amounts of illicit money originating from illicit activities like gambling, betting, trafficking in drugs, and pornography are reportedly routed through Russian channels and end up in banks in the Baltic States and the European Union, according to the US Treasury. 

Subsequently, these unlawful proceeds are utilized to support more unlawful activities. This situation demonstrates the pervasiveness of money laundering and its profound impact on the financial and monetary systems of several nations.

Sergey Kondratenko: The Debate, The Gambling Empire, and Sanctions

Two years ago, Russian reporters for the Russian version of Forbes magazine published an article on a massive gambling company called 1xBet that claimed an incredible $2 billion in revenue. 

They provided detailed information on the operation in their expose, which helped to identify the connections between this major endeavor and several law enforcement officials from Bryansk, Russia who specialize in information technology. Furthermore, the roots and background of this gaming industry were also looked into.

Let us go back to January 12th, when Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, signed an order placing restrictions on Royal Pay Europe, a Latvian company with Russian ancestry. According to a report released by the UNIAN news agency, it was found that this enterprise is associated with the infamous Russian bookmaker 1xBet.

Services about online commerce and electronic payment processing are the areas of expertise for Royal Pay Europe. It was founded in 2016 by Russian national Sergey Kondratenko. 

Several media reports suggested that it would be able to help with payments to online casinos and offshore bookmakers. The company obtained an e-money license in the UK in 2017, which allowed it to process payments and handle credit card transactions in European and UK countries. 2017 saw the acquisition of this license.

For five years, Royal Pay Europe has been subject to restrictions set by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC). 

Ukraine imposed sanctions on the corporation. Among these were the freezing of its domestic assets, the prevention of its capital transfers from leaving the nation, the suspension of its financial and contractual duties, the limitation of its involvement in the privatization and leasing of public property, and the limitation of its authority over securities.

Furthermore, the State Financial Monitoring Service of Ukraine intervened and banned accounts linked to Royal Pay Europe, totaling almost 2 billion UAH.

Investigative journalists and the Russian Federation’s Investigative Committee have shown that Sergey Karshkov, the chief cyber police officer of Bryansk’s “Department K,” and his friend Roman Semiokhin were involved in a bookmaking venture. 

The disclosures that were made public led to the discovery of this information. Their idea for the 1xBet brand originated with them, and Karshkov took on the responsibility of running the 1xBet network’s marketing initiative. 

In Russia, new laws from 2014 mandated that online bookies obtain licenses to conduct business lawfully. Contrarily, 1xBet lacked the necessary planning to adhere to these regulations and went on to conduct illegal activities, including accepting bets and using their clients’ bank cards. 

And with that, Sergey Karshkov invited his old Bryansk colleague Sergey Kondratenko, who had also served in “Department K,” to join him in this mission. They embarked upon a potentially hazardous journey together that ultimately raised serious concerns about legal and regulatory matters.

SIA Royal Pay Europe is an online money transfer business that was formed in 2016 by Sergey Kondratenko. Its main office is in Riga. It’s important to remember that a Russian firm with the same name was also registered.

Reports that have arisen in Russian media suggest that 1xBet, one of the biggest and most mysterious online bookies, may have a direct connection to Royal Pay Europe. 

A former employee of 1xBet was quoted by The Bell as saying that the organization developed its payment processing system, which it branded Royal Pay. This was done to oversee financial transactions. Additionally, journalists have demonstrated that this payment method was used even in sanctioned nations like Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, where it was challenging to use credit cards for transactions involving gaming. 

Thus, it appeared that 1xBet’s operations and payment processing inside the Russian market were greatly aided by Royal Pay Europe, which was serving as the company’s financial agent in Kazan.

The obvious affiliation between Royal Pay Europe and the bookmaker was hard to overlook. For example, clients who used the Royal Pay payment option to fund their bookmaker accounts were eligible for a bonus, equivalent to a return on their initial deposit of five percent.

Royal Pay Europe was founded in 2016 and was granted permission to operate as an electronic payment institution in the United Kingdom in 2017. Because it possessed this license, the business was able to process card payments and accept payments within the borders of Europe and the United Kingdom. 

Moreover, the business established its operations in Latvia and offered its services not only in Europe but also in other Asian nations, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the European Union. It was meant to serve as a vital financial conduit, easing transactions and payments for all of 1xBet’s various business ventures.

The Case of Galina and Sergey Kondratenko: Questionable International Business Network

In addition to his spouse, Galina, Sergey Kondratenko has been involved in a complex web of economic dealings with numerous countries, such as Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Latvia, and Lithuania. 

With minimal engagement from the general public, these companies—Kiparis DMCC, Altium Limited, Optimum FinTech, VestraPay Nigeria, and Digitalex Pte. Ltd.—seem to have nearly identical websites and function primarily as payment intermediaries.

In addition to having past law enforcement experience, Sergey and Galina Kondratenko were also born in 1982. The Russian Federation’s Ministry of Internal Affairs awarded them degrees from Moscow University’s Bryansk campus in 2004. They got married and have two children now that they have graduated from college.

Furthermore, over time, Sergey Kondratenko has filed several businesses under the name of Galina, his spouse. Here are a few of these companies: PP MONEY TRANSFER s.r.o. (Czech Republic), Skylove Ltd., and Startling Limited (Cyprus). Significant amounts of cash from Russia and other CIS countries are allegedly transferred and possibly laundered through European banks by these companies, with the money frequently ending up in offshore accounts in Cyprus and other locations.

In 2018, the Kondratenko couple obtained citizenship in Cyprus; however, their official nationality in Russia has not changed, based on Russian databases. Even though they only occasionally travel to Russia, it seems that they live there for most of the year.

In addition to raising questions regarding the constitutionality and intentions of these companies in the context of financial transactions and the potential for money laundering, this material also reveals a convoluted web of global business activity.

The Cryptocurrency and Money Laundering Web maintained by Sergey Kondratenko & Associates

A complex and potentially illicit financial network including individuals and companies connected to Sergey Kondratenko. Due to his formation of DigitMoney and FERVIDO s.r.o. in the Czech Republic, Nikolajs Kirillovs, who has ties to both Latvia and Russia, appears to have entered the cryptocurrency space. Additionally, a Russian citizen, Kirillovs is Sergey Kondratenko’s partner.

The involvement of Kondratenko with Lithuanian companies like UAB Transactive Systems and UAB NexPay has alarmed investigative journalists. Looks like these companies’ management is afraid to comment on what their customers are doing. Noteworthy publications about the connections between 1xBet’s owners and Russian law enforcement, politicians, and criminals may be found in Russian Forbes.

Sergey Kondratenko and the others connected to him might be involved in a money laundering scheme, based on the information in this passage. The investigative team intends to release any new information they find later on and will continue to closely monitor this conduct. 

Because they think these operations are similar to those of a worldwide criminal firm, they emphasize how committed they are to providing information about Kondratenko’s enterprises, financial plans, and business partners to the police and financial institutions in the US and other countries.

Conclusion

We can therefore conclude that Sergey Kondratenko is a man who is purportedly connected to a complex web of money laundering schemes involving the illegal bookmaker 1Xbet. 

Based on the investigation’s findings, it seems that Kondratenko and his associates have been using a range of European banks and financial institutions to facilitate the transfer of large amounts of “dirty” money, mostly from Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) nations. 

This business uses a broad range of offshore accounts and businesses, with Latvia and Lithuania acting as key hubs for these activities.

The following links can be used to find out more about Sergey Kondratenko:

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