Chief specialist of Russia’s Vneshtorgbank (Foreign Trade Bank known for the Russian initials as VTB), Alexader Funin, 43, died in Moscow on Sunday night under mysterious circumstances. His body was found in the toilet room of his own apartment in Moscow’s south. The banker had a lethal gunshot wound in the head. The police say that the banker died as a result of either an accident or suicide.
A source from the law-enforcement authorities of Moscow told Strana.ru that Alexander Funin’s wife found the body of her husband at night of December 23. The gun was found near the body.
The 43-year-old banker and his wife invited guests to celebrate five months of their daughter’s birthday. When the guests left, the couple went to bed. Elena Funin told the police that she woke up at about 2:30 a.m. and found that she was sleeping in bed alone. The woman found his body in the bathroom; the man was lying on the floor with a lethal gunshot wound in the head.
Investigators say that they are not yet considering the version of the banker’s killing. “We believe that the man, being in a state of alcoholic intoxication, was examining the gun in his hands and incidentally pulled the trigger. It is not ruled out that he may have committed suicide too,” an investigator said.
It became the second death of VTB’s banker during only one month. The previous incident took place on December 6 2007. Managing director of VTB’s corporate block, Oleg Zhukovsky, 52, was found dead in his mansion. His body, tied on hands and feet, was floating in a swimming pool in the position of a human embryo. Autopsy showed that the banker had drowned.
Spokespeople for the bank said that Oleg Zhukovsky’s death did not have a criminal background. However, the bank withdrew all information about the banker from its corporate network several hours after the tragic news.
“It goes without saying that such things happen for a certain reason. Why does it happen ? This is a different question . If you remember, many people “committed suicide” after the Soviet coup in 1991. They knew too much,” an anonymous source from the banking sphere told Strana.ru. “The banking business is highly criminalized in Russia. It is not ruled out that the banker knew something. Maybe he didn’t. This is the way life is. It is sad that the price of life is so low,” the source said.
“On the other hand, bankers lead a decent way of life in Russia to commit suicide. They do not suffer from idleness either. I would say that the position of a chief specialist is higher than average. It is a well-paid job that stipulates serious responsibility. A chief specialist of a bank is actively involved in the decision-making process. They accumulate information and present their ideas to the management. Maybe the reason of his death lies somewhere there,” the source said.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov