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Brazilian mafia links to Uruguayan casinos probed

The Americas Post - Illegal lottery results are openly posted in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian police are investigating possible connections between the organized crime groups controlling illegal gambling in Rio de Janeiro and Russian and Israeli mafias, with casinos in Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay.

According to daily newspaper O Globo, the legal casinos play a key role in laundering money for operators of illegal lotteries and slot machines in Rio.  Other crimes under investigation by Brazilian Federal Police include tax evasion, smuggling and homicide.

According to the police, the Israeli Abergil and Russian Bratva organized crime syndicates were sought out by the Brazilian operators of the illicit Bicho lottery, for their expertise in money laundering.  Evidence of the connection came to light during investigations of cash remittances to foreign bank accounts, mainly in Uruguay and Panama, associated with various hotels operating casinos in South America.

Investigations over the last two years have produced 21,000 hours of recorded telephone calls between known criminals such as Israeli Yoram El Al, Meir Zloff, Tal Amir, Genrich Birman and Vitaly Okorov.