November 23, 2006

The Hunt for Bankers is still on

A co-owner of a small Russian private bank was gunned down in an apparent contract killing in central Moscow, prosecutors said Wednesday

An unidentified assailant shot Konstantin Meshcheryakov of Spetssetsroibank several times — in the head, neck and torso — Tuesday night, said Svetlana Petrenko, spokeswoman for the city prosecutors. A murder investigation has been opened, she said.

The ITAR-TASS news agency quoted an unnamed official in the prosecutor's office as saying Meshcheryakov could have been killed because of his professional activity and that the crime bore signs of a contract killing. Russia has seen a spate of contract killings in the banking sector, the AP reports.

The head of a branch of the state-controlled Vneshtorgbank was shot in Moscow in October.

First Vice President of the Bank of Russia A. Kozlov was killed Sept. 13. Unknown people opened fire on him near sport center "Spartak" while he was coming back from the sport complex at 9.30 p. m. Moscow time. As a result, Kozlov's driver was killed. The banker suffered a gunned injury of his head and was taken to Town Hospital No. 33, where he died unconscious. The investigation was taken under personal control by Russia's Chief Prosecutor Yuri Chaika.

The conclusion one may make is as follows: bankers are closely connected to criminals, and since Russia is experiencing wars for market domination in various areas (we already wrote about it in one of our previous posts) because of upcoming elections (both in the state parliament and presidential ones), this should be no surprise for Russians - they just got used to it.

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