Slovakia’s gambling sector has been brought into disrepute, as executives of state-owned lottery operator ‘TIPOS SK’ are investigated on charges of money laundering.
On the morning of Tuesday 26 November, officers of Slovak national crime agency NAKA raided the Bratislava headquarters of TIPOS Slovakia, detaining company Chairman Ján Barczi and IT Director Miloš Prelec.
Breaking the arrests, Slovak news source Aktuality reported that Barczi and Prelec had been detained on charges of manipulating corporate reporting systems in order to facilitate money laundering activities.
The TIPOS executives had been further charged with knowingly hiding money across multiple ‘dormant player accounts’, with funds later withdrawn to unverified bank accounts.
Furthermore, Aktuality states that Barczi had hired an unnamed associate, working in the TIPOS organisation, to allow the illegal transactions to take place.
NAKA has confirmed that it will swiftly charge Barczi and Prelec on grounds related to money laundering but did not disclose how much money had been stolen from the National Lottery operator.
Under Slovakia’s current gambling framework, TIPOS SK serves as the national monopoly for lottery, football pools and instant-win games.