Russian Politician Found in Cement Barrel Owed $80M

Yevgeny Kharitonov thought to be behind murder of Mikhail Pakhomov
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2013 11:05 AM CST
Russian Pol Found in Cement Barrel Owed $80M
This undated photo released Tuesday Feb. 19, 2013, by a Press Service of Lipetsk City Council, shows Russian lawmaker Mikhail Pakhomov.   (AP Photo)

The Russian politician who was found dead in a cement barrel Sunday was in debt—to the tune of $80 million. Police say Mikhail Pakhomov, 36, was tortured and killed over the outstanding loan, the New York Times reports. In addition to being a city legislator, Pakhomov was also the head of a construction company with several large contracts. Yevgeny Kharitonov, a former deputy minister for housing and utilities services—one of the most corrupt sectors in the country—is thought to have had Pakhomov killed, but so far he's only been charged with kidnapping. The Times observes that "the killing recalled the brutal violence that routinely emerged from business disputes in the 1990s." (Read more Mikhail Pakhomov stories.)

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