Thursday, February 04, 2010

Strange Casino Cheat Case in Africa

Read this BOPA (Botswana) Daily News account of a slot machine cheating case and see what you make of it. Sounds like it could be part of a good comedy movie.


The Botswana Police Service have confirmed that a Russian doctor, Vladimir Pastouchenko left the Princess Marina Hospital early last year after his contract expired. Dr Pastouchenko is the father to Serguei Pastouchenko who was accused of defilement and manipulation of a casino machine.
Pastouchenko (accused) skipped bail last year in November after being granted conditional bail. Detective Sub Inspector Tebogo Morwamang of the Sir Seretse Khama police said they suspected that Pastouchenko, who spent a short stint in jail following conviction and the imposition of a seven-year jail term on a defilement charge, might have fled the country presumably with his parents who were his court sureties.

The police are still in possession of Pastouchenkos passport after he was ordered to surrender it as one of the bail conditions. The investigator noted that when they went to check on Pastouchenko at his fathers flats at the Grand Palm Hotel, they found nothing apart from a G4S security company note which was pushed under the door. It looks like the company had come to attend to an alarm that had been activated.

Sub-Inspector Morwamang said they suspected that the three secretly fled to their native country. Pastouchenko was granted conditional bail last year by South Regional Magistrate, Mr Lot Moroka and one of the conditions was that he should provide two sureties: P10 000 for defilement and P40,000 for machine cheating.

The state did not oppose the bail application because prior to his conviction, Pastouchenko had been on bail. The granting of his bail followed an order from the Lobatse High Court for a re-trial of his defilement matter after the defence lawyer Fashole Luke II brought to the attention of the court that there was no record in the trial proceedings that some of the prosecution witnesses had taken oath or made any affirmation before giving evidence and that the complainant was not subjected to a legal procedure for admitting a child as a witness.

Justice David Newman found that there were fatal irregularities on the part of the trial magistrate and ordered a re-trial.

Pastouchenko allegedly had sex with an underage girl who was the daughter to his former girlfriend. In another case, Pastouchenko (53) faced counts of cheating gambling machines at the Grand Palm Casino Hotel. The case is also pending before the court.

He was alleged to have manipulated the software of the gambling machines at the Grand Palm using his loyalty personal card numbers in order for the machines to double his cash without playing the gambling game. The offences, which entail an amount of over P250 000 were allegedly committed in December 2008.

The court has summoned Pastouchenkos lawyer to avail himself to court on February 9 to go and explain the whereabouts of his client.BOPA