Darren Keane, CEO of Storm International, is currently awaiting trial in one of Russia’s most notorious maximum security institutions – Moscow’s Butyrka Prison. The 43-year-old Brit is suspected of running two casinos in violation of Russian gambling laws. His lawyer, Viktoria Vasilyeva, says that Russian authorities denied him the medication he needs for the thrombosis that could claim his life at any moment.
Keane is accused of continuing operating two Storm casinos in Moscow despite the law banning all gambling activities in the city in July 2009. The British national is charged with operating illegal business enterprises. He remains in custody ever since he was arrested by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on June 22.
FSB became aware of the Keane only after a series of raids uncovered dozens of illegal casinos including Keane’s Shangri La. Agents uncovered “working roulette tables” and this seems to be fact, on which prosecution builds their case against Keane.
He came to Russia back in 1997, and three years later took the general manager position of a Moscow casino – Shangri La. In September 2008 he became CEO of the company. He had ambitious expansion plans including running online casinos in Russia, but plans came to a halt following ban on all gambling in the country.
Russian regulations towards gambling became truly draconian, banishing all gaming activities to four designated zones in remote regions of Russia. Anyone found to operate any gambling operation elsewhere could face substantial penalties and prison sentences of up to five years.
Russian Federation gambling news learned from the British Embassy statement: “Consular staff are in contact with the British national and their next of kin and providing consular assistance.”