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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

04/21/1992

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Organized crime preys on street gambler's false hopes

It takes Ruslan Alexandrov one month to earn 3, 500 rubles working at a state factory. But it took him only two hours to lose it at Byelorussky Vokzal after trying his hand at one of the city's burgeoning businesses: gambling. In a city where more and more people are out to make a fast ruble, Alexandrov is but one of the many falling prey to a growing breed of hustlers speckling Moscow's streets. Organized criminals pose as croupiers dealing out weighted odds and selling false hopes at a chance for fortune. and the law and its enforcers have been doing little to halt the action. ""There are practically no measures to stop gambling on the streets"", said Alexander Tsopov, chief of the Mossoviet's commission on organized crime. ""Everyone is closing their eyes to it"". These scams, of which three-card monty and the shell game are most popular, usually involve a dealer and several assistants. Decoys appear to win, sucking in passerbys who eagerly plunk down fistfuls of rubles.
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