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Sergey Kondratenko abuses EU states to launder illegal proceedings from Russian 1xBet and Royal Pay

The investigation into Sergey Kondratenko, the co-owner of 1xBet, and his association with money laundering through Royal Pay Europe reveals a complex network facilitating the flow of millions of dollars monthly from Russian bookmakers. The focus extends to the historical context of money laundering in Latvia and Lithuania, underscoring the significant role played by European banks and financial entities in these illicit transactions.

Within this intricate web of financial activities, the European Union’s efforts to tighten regulations on entities like 1xBet come into sharp focus. Ukraine’s imposition of sanctions on Royal Pay Europe further emphasizes the urgency of addressing these issues. Sergey Kondratenko’s role within the broader gambling empire adds another layer to the narrative. His connections to the police department “K” shed light on the intricate relationships between the gambling industry and law enforcement.

As the investigation unfolds, a comprehensive view of the family business involving Sergey Kondratenko and his wife, Galina, emerges. The couple owns multiple companies abroad, functioning as intermediaries for money laundering operations originating from Russia and CIS countries. These entities strategically navigate European banks, ultimately channeling funds to offshore accounts. The article provides insight into their business endeavors, including details on their acqZuisition of Cyprus citizenship in 2018.

Sergey Kondratenko’s activities in registering various companies abroad, including Startling Limited in Cyprus and PP MONEY TRANSFER s.r.o. in the Czech Republic, underscore the sophisticated nature of the money laundering network. Their involvement in financial intermediary companies, such as Royal Pay, further emphasizes the need for enhanced regulatory measures to curb these illegal practices.

Despite occasional visits to Russia, the Kondratenko family predominantly resides abroad, managing their extensive network of companies. The need for more robust regulations and international collaboration to combat money laundering, particularly in the context of the gambling industry, becomes evident. The article paints a comprehensive picture of Sergey Kondratenko’s multifaceted involvement in money laundering, urging authorities to address this issue at both national and international levels.

Unveiling Sergey Kondratenko’s Exploitation of the EU for Personal Gain

Intriguingly, Sergey Kondratenko, the owner of 1xBet, continues to operate within the European Union, raising questions about the efficacy of the existing regulatory framework. President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent imposition of sanctions on Royal Pay Europe, registered in Latvia by Kondratenko, sheds light on a pervasive issue—the alleged laundering of Russian money linked to 1xBet through a network of European banks and financial institutions.

The investigation delves into the historical role of Latvia and Lithuania as conduits for various criminal transactions involving Russian money from both the Russian Federation and other CIS countries. Kondratenko’s association with the Russian bookmaker 1xBet underscores a continuity of such practices over the past two decades.

A detailed examination by Latvian media last year uncovered the intricate involvement of the financial industry in servicing the shadowy gambling sector connected to Russia. Key figures, including those orchestrating a complex system processing millions monthly from Russian bookmakers, were revealed. This article, the second part of an ongoing investigation, focuses on Sergey Kondratenko and 1xBet.

As the volume of illicit money reached staggering amounts, multiple banks and financial institutions faced severe consequences, including substantial fines and license revocations. Sergey Kondratenko’s role in orchestrating such schemes became evident, impacting Latvian and Lithuanian banks, such as Trasta Komercbanka AS and ABLV Bank AS. The Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission (FFKTK) detected long-term violations, including the legalization of criminally obtained funds, currency processing infractions, and instances of terrorist financing by Kondratenko.

Notably, Kondratenko’s tactics are not isolated incidents, as Russian money laundering permeates other European countries and globally. Financial entities, armed with licenses to accept payments and linked to major banking systems, become unwitting participants in these nefarious activities. This shadowy process has reportedly contributed to Kondratenko amassing significant wealth, as outlined by the US Treasury’s findings on the substantial flow of shady funds from Russians involved in betting, gambling, pornography, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities to banks in the Baltic States and EU countries.

Sergey Kondratenko’s adept manipulation of financial systems for personal gain raises concerns about the EU’s ability to curb such practices effectively. The ongoing investigation serves as a call for more stringent regulations and international cooperation to combat the exploitation of European financial networks for illicit activities, bringing the actions of individuals like Sergey Kondratenko under greater scrutiny.

Sergei Kondratenko, 1xBet and old friends from Russian Police Department “K”

Already two years ago, journalists of the Russian Forbes published an article about the largest gambling empire called 1xBet which has a turnover of $2 billion. Journalists described the scheme in detail and added that several police officers and IT specialists from Bryansk were directly connected to the project. They also told the audience about the foundation and the history of the gambling empire.

On January 12, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree on imposition of sanctions against the Latvian company with Russian roots Royal Pay Europe, which is a partner of the Russian bookmaker 1xBet, UNIAN news agency reports.

This is Sergei Kondratenko’s company that provides services in the field of electronic commerce, as well as electronic payment processing services. Royal Pay Europe was founded in 2016 by Russian citizen Sergey Kondratenko and, according to the media, is a partner of the notorious Russian bookmaker 1xBet and can transfer payments to offshore bookmakers and online casinos. In 2017, Royal Pay Europe received an e-money license in the UK, which gave it the right to accept payments and service card transactions in European and UK jurisdictions.

According to the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC), sanctions against Royal Pay Europe were introduced for 5 years. They provide for the blocking of its assets in Ukraine, a ban on the transfer of its capital outside the country, suspension of financial and economic obligations, as well as a ban on participation in the privatization and lease of state property and restrictions on the rights of the specified company to dispose of securities. The State Financial Monitoring Service of Ukraine has already blocked over UAH 2 billion in accounts related to Royal Pay Europe.

According to journalists and the information from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the chief cyber police officer Sergey Karshkov from Bryansk, who worked in the department “K”, together with his friend Roman Semiokhin, started to work in the field of betting and launched the 1xBet brand. Sergey Karshkov was responsible for the marketing of the 1xBet network. Already in 2014, the Russian authorities introduced licensing for online bookmakers, and 1xBet was not really ready to adjust to new rules. The company began illegal activities, while still accepting bets and using the bank cards of their customers. Sergey Karshkov invited one of his colleagues from Bryansk, Sergey (Sergei) Kondratenko, who also worked in the Department “K”, and with whom he worked for several years.

In 2016, Sergey Kondratenko registered the SIA Royal Pay Europe online money transferring company in Riga. The company with the same name was also registered in Russia.

According to the Russian media, Royal Pay Europe is directly connected with the activities of one of the largest shady online bookmakers 1xBet.


It turns out that RoyalPay company which was used as a financial agent in conjunction with the company in Kazan created a foundation for the successful operation of 1xBet and payments processing in Russia.

The direct connection with the bookmaking company can be seen with the naked eye as well. For example, while depositing money to a bookmaker’s account through the Royal Pay payment system, customers receive an additional bonus or so-called cashback in the amount of 5% of the deposit.

Royal Pay Europe was founded in 2016. In 2017 it received a license of an electronic money institution in England, which gave it the right to accept payments and service card transactions in European and British jurisdictions. In addition, the company registered its activities in Latvia. In addition, it offers relevant services in the EU, CIS, and Asian countries.

Family “Business” of Sergey and Galina Kondratenko

It is worth noting that Sergey Kondratenko is also the owner of the company with the same name in Colombia. Already on January 7, 2021, he founded Findexiq Ltd company in the UK.

Over the past few years, Sergey Kondratenko from Russia has registered dozens of companies in various countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Great Britain, UAE, Republic of Singapore, and so on) under his own name, as well as under his relatives and acquaintances. He owns the following legal entities: Kiparis DMCC (United Arab Emirates), Alium Limited (aliumpay.com), Optimum FinTech s.r.o. (Ilia Zavialov), VestraPay Nigeria Ltd, and Digitalex pte. ltd.

These companies own identical websites. In addition, they do not conduct public activities and their main goal is to act as an intermediary when accepting payments.

Sergey Kondratenko (born on November 05, 1982) introduced his wife Galina (November 1, 1982) to the family business of laundering betting money. They studied together at the Bryansk branch of Moscow University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and graduated together in 2004. After graduating from the university, Sergey and Galina Kondratenko got married, and they have two children.

Over the past few years, Sergey Kondratenko has registered several companies abroad on behalf of his wife Galina: Startling Limited (Cyprus, the company could have been eliminated in 2020), Skylove Ltd, PP MONEY TRANSFER s.r.o. from Czech Republic  (psppaymentplanet.eu), and many others.

Such companies as Royal Pay, as well as all other legal entities with their illusory managers, act as financial intermediary companies for transferring and laundering millions of dollars from Russia and CIS countries through European banks with withdrawal to Cyprus and other offshore accounts.

In 2018, Sergey Kondratenko and his wife bought Cyprus citizenship; however, according to Russian databases, they remain citizens of Russia.

Family visits Russia once in a while, but spends most of their time abroad.

Sergey Kondratenko and Royal Pay Europe Partners

There are high chances that cryptocurrencies are involved in the shady schemes of the mentioned legal entities. Sergey Kondratenko’s partner, Nikolajs Kirillovs from Latvia with Russian roots, who previously had a minority stake in Royal Pay Europe, decided to work with cryptocurrencies and opened the FERVIDO s.r.o. in the Czech Republic, as well as the DigitMoney company.

The journalists conducted an investigation and revealed that Sergey Kondratenko and his legal entities work with such Lithuanian companies as UAB NexPay, UAB Transactive Systems, and others. The management of these companies avoids making any comments on the activities of their clients. Russian Forbes also writes that the owners of 1xBet are closely connected with Russian officials, deputies, and criminals.

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