Moscow shootings put Russian financial executives on alert

Financial services executives based in Russia are stepping up their personal security precautions after the assassinations of two bankers.

Alexander Plokhin

, the director of a Moscow branch of Vneshtorgbank, was shot by a gunman who was waiting for him on the staircase of his apartment building as he returned home one evening. Vneshtorgbank, which is almost wholly state-owned and was once the foreign trade bank for the Soviet Union, is planning to make an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange next year. Police are investigating whether or not the killing is related to Plokhin's position at the bank.

Andrei Kozlov

, deputy chairman of Russia's central bank, was shot in the street in September by two gunmen as he left a football match at Moscow's Spartak stadium. Kozlov had led the central bank's efforts to clean up Russia's financial system by closing down dozens of banks suspected of money laundering. Many in Russia believe the hitmen were hired by one of the banks in question he had targeted for closure. Several people were arrested in late October, who according to wire service reports were of Ukrainian origin.

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