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.
As Pravda.ru previously reported 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, newslab.ru says.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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