Home / Business / Fraudster Oleg Krot – a Russian mole in the Ukrainian betting industry: TECHIIA and 1xBet

Fraudster Oleg Krot – a Russian mole in the Ukrainian betting industry: TECHIIA and 1xBet

The war means the consolidation of the nation and willingness of people to sacrifice their wealth for the common victory. Unfortunately it’s a golden time for fraudsters of any kind. Some are stealing from the table while others pretend that they gave more than they even had in hope of some reimbursement. One case is particularly interesting: Oleg Krot, a little-known ‘IT businessman’ and TECHIIA 1xBet offshore owner donated $60 million to the AFU. At least it’s what he said.

Ever heard of Oleg Krot, the famous IT Tycoon? Me neither. Shameless lies turned to be a disaster for Krot, as the public reacted to obvious desinformation.

How Oleg Krot ‘donated’ $60 million to the army

Local Ukrainian singer and volunteer Dasha Astafyeva posted on her Instagram a joint photo with the co-founder of the Ukrainian IT holding TECHIIA Oleg Krot and a text that he allegedly handed over to the Armed Forces of Ukraine no less than $60 million. Many reacted in disbelief.

Firstly, because this is probably the biggest donation to the AFU from a private person. Secondly, it was the fact that it was carried out without checks and dozens of photos with headlines. AFU kept silent. Betting fraudster Oleg Krot became quiet That aroused great suspicions. What did this money go for and where did it come from?

Oleg Krot himself found it difficult to answer these questions clearly. In the Forbes commentary, he could only verbally tell what a third of the specified amount of $21.2 million was spent on. There is no explanation about the remaining $40 million, their origin and how exactly the funds helped the Ukrainian army — TECHIIA company only said that a part of this amount is Oleg Krot’s personal money.

The explanation of such inexplicable generosity was found by journalists. The fact is that TECHIIA has been working with the Russian bookmaker 1xBet for a long time, which in the midst of a full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine in March 2022 somehow managed to convince the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) to allow it to the Ukrainian market by issuing it two licenses.

The KRAIL unconvincingly tried to justify themselves by saying that “they did not see the connection of 1xBet with Russia”, however, after a wide public outcry, the tremble reached the president of Ukraine Zelensky. Only then the commission cancelled the licenses issued to the Russian bookmaker in Ukraine.

The answer to the question of who and how ‘persuaded’ the KRAIL to go to a meeting with the aggressor country may just be hiding in these incomprehensible 60 million dollars allegedly transferred to support the Ukrainian army by Oleg Krot. It is obvious that in order for the Russian representative to get the right to work in the conditions of war in Ukraine needs to have someone in place who would contribute to the necessary decision of the commission. It was these ‘friends’ who turned out to be the co-founders of the TECHIIA IT holding , Oleg Krot and Yuri Lazebnikov.

Oleg Krot connections and his role in the story of 1xBet licensing

The latter, according to media reports, was recently the head of a certain LLC “ME-ESTATE”, which is engaged in leasing real estate, and the founder of which at the same time was Sergey Tsybin, who today is the founder of LLC ‘Your Betting Company’ (‘Tvoya kompaniya bettinga’) — the same one that has already received cancelled licenses to work in 1xBet Ukraine. In addition, the chief lawyer of the TECHIIA holding, Roman Rodin, is the brother of Alexander Rodin, director of Your Betting Company LLC.

Back in 2021, WePlay Esports, one of the TECHIIA companies engaged in e-sports competitions, publicly announced its partnership with a Russian bookmaker. Since that time, bets on the WePlay Esports e-sports championships have started to appear on all 1xBet platforms. Until the summer and autumn of 2022, when the Russians continued to bomb peaceful Ukrainian cities, TECHIIA and the Russian bookmaker continued to work closely together.

Oleg Krot is indeed an IT guy, although a very specific IT

And this cooperation did not end there. Oleg Krot himself, in an interview with Ukrainian journalists, does not hide that he has recently become very interested in gambling and betting in Ukraine. He demonstrates his deep involvement in this topic, and admits that he had a close dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities on the topic of reforming the gambling market in Ukraine.

The devil is in the details: Oleg Krot plan to introduce 1xBet to Ukraine

According to him, he began to propose ‘to eliminate corruption and make a transparent system of tax collection with the impossibility of non-payment in the field of gambling and betting.’ All this happened exactly when TECHIIA became a partner of 1xBet.

According to the plan, Oleg Krot was supposed to become the new Boris Baum, who was engaged in gambling at the start of its legalization in Ukraine, however, is highly overshadowed by its close Russian ties. To do this, Krot held many meetings with representatives of the Ukrainian authorities and even promised the state to develop software for licensing gambling. Thus, TECHIIA wanted to take control of the entire gambling market in the country and bring its partner — the Russian bookmaker 1xBet — to which a significant market share was to go.

Which, in fact, at first turned out when KRAIL ‘blindfoldedly’ made the decision necessary for the Russians to issue licenses to “Your betting company”.

As war erupted, 1xBet lost the case

However, the war prevented everything: Ukrainian society did not put up with the position of continuing to work with the Russians at a time when they were dropping missiles on their heads. When KRAIL forcibly revoked the licenses of 1xBet (although it resisted this until the last), Oleg Krot said that TECHIIA would no longer develop software for licensing gambling operators to the Ukrainian government. The agreements were violated. Although today TECHIIA does not give up its idea completely, and its lawyers help 1xBet in every possible way to get the licenses returned through the court, while Oleg Krot himself is actively flying back and forth to Cyprus, where, as is known, all three citizens of the Russian Federation who are the founders of 1xBet reside.

Trying to downplay ‘the donation disgrace’ of Oleg Krot

TECHIIA tried to cover up its founder Oleg Krot, interpreting the words of David Arakhamiya from an interview with Forbes, but even here everything did not go smoothly, Arakhamiya confirmed only the fact of some assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and did not confirm the entire amount of $60 million voiced by Oleg Krot:

“Krot really transferred tens of millions of dollars to the Ukrainian army… I do not know the final amount,” Arahamiya said.

Wherever this money goes, one thing becomes obvious: it doesn’t look like charity at all. This is very similar to the fact that the Russian betting company, whose monthly income, as Oleg Krot says, is more than his annual one, thus tried to take control of the gambling market of Ukraine with the help of its Ukrainian partners. By bribing the authorities. And it’s so convenient during the war — just to say that someone provides the funds for the army.

A not-so random fun fact to enjoy – ‘Krot’ is ‘a mole’ in Russian. What a self-explanatory last name Oleg Krot is bearing!

Ukrainians vote against Oleg Krot and his suspicious donations

Meanwhile, Ukrainians voted for a petition to sanction Oleg Krot and his company. The petition has raised the necessary 25,000 votes and therefore president is obliged to take a look at it and take action if necessary.

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