Russian lawmaker's body found in barrel of cement

18th February 2013, Comments 0 comments

The body of a kidnapped Russian lawmaker has been found in a cement-filled barrel in a cellar outside Moscow in suspected retribution for unpaid debts, investigators said Monday.

"The body of Mikhail Pakhomov, a lawmaker from Lipetsk city council, has been found in one of the cellars of a private garage in a metal barrel filled with cement," the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Investigators said they had detained eight people in the case including the suspected mastermind, a former top official in the Moscow regional government, after discovering the body over the weekend.

Pakhomov, 37, disappeared on February 12 in the central Russian city of Lipetsk.

Police said they immediately suspected murder after witnesses saw a man being dragged into an SUV against his will and after they found Pakhomov's jeans, one of his boots and his cell phone.

Investigators said they believed the motive to be money that Pakhomov owed suspected mastermind Yevgeny Kharitonov, who formerly headed the Moscow region's housing services ministry.

"We can say it is a money-related motive, namely Pakhomov's debts to the mastermind. We can't give you more detailed information at the moment," Sergei Selishchev, deputy head of the Lipetsk region investigative department, said in a recorded briefing posted on the website of Lipetsk police.

Kharitonov was detained three days ago when he tried to fly out of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, Selishchev added.

The suspects are also believed to have stolen belongings from Pakhomov worth about 400,000 rubles ($13,300).

© 2013 AFP

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