Russian bank manager shot dead

11 October 2006

A branch manager of a Russian state-controlled bank has been shot dead in Moscow, in what is the latest in a number of assassinations related to the country's financial industry.

Alexander Plokhin, who managed a branch of the Vneshtorgbank in southern Moscow, was reportedly shot in the head by gunmen as he left his apartment at about 23:30 in the evening.

The death comes only a month after the deputy director of Russia's central bank, Andrei Kozlov, was gunned down, with many linking the murder with Mr Kozlov's attempts to quash corruption in the financial sector.

However, prosecutors have not revealed yet whether Mr Plokhin's death is connected with his position in the financial sector, although a spokeswomen did tell Reuters that the murder had the "tell-tale signs of a contract killing".

Vneshtorgbank was planning to make an initial public offering in the coming months.

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