THE bodies of a top Russian banker and his family were discovered in his Moscow apartment shortly after the bank was hit with Western sanctions.
Vladislav Avayev, 51, was found dead in their home along with his pregnant wife Yelena, 47, and their 13-year-old daughter Maria Russian Capital city.
Avayev was a former vice president of Gazprombank, Russia’s third largest bank and one of the main payment channels for Russian oil and gas.
It was sanctioned by a number of western countries following the invasion of Russia Ukraineincluding by the UK last month.
Russian state media agency TASS reported on Monday that the bodies of three people, including a girl, were discovered in an apartment building on Universitetsky Prospekt, a leafy street in the southwest Moscow.
Police spokeswoman Yulia Ivanova told TASS that the bodies of Avayev’s eldest daughter Anastasia, 26, were discovered after hearing that neither the family driver nor the nanny could get through on the phone.
She claimed the door was locked from the inside.
The daughter discovered the bodies in her luxury apartment, along with a total of 13 different weapons.
A law enforcement source said a gun was found in Avayev’s hand and they believe it was a murder-suicide.
Officials have claimed that Avayev’s wife and daughter were shot dead in front of him and that the gun was found in his hand.
It was not reported how many shots were fired or the exact circumstances behind her death.
Unconfirmed rumors are circulating the internet that the family may be in a financial crisis.
Another source claims that Azayev murdered his family after finding out his wife was five months pregnant with someone else’s child, although this has not been proven.
A family neighbor, Kristina, said: “I heard three shots and screams. A woman screamed.
“Then two more shots were fired. Nobody else screamed. I looked out the window – I thought it was fireworks.
“It turned out they weren’t, my mum told me it was definitely gunshots.”
I heard three shots and screams. A woman screamed
Avayev had reportedly worked for Gazprombank for many years before recently deciding to suddenly leave for unknown reasons.
Kremlin analyst Olga Lautman said Avayev used to work there Putin‘s presidential administration as well as in Parliament or Duma.
He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Financial and Economic Bodies of the Central Sports Club of Russia.
Outside of work, he was also general manager of RTK Company, a scientific research and development company, and founder of LLC Carbonics, a construction company.
It is not known how long he and his wife were together, but they are said to have had two children.
“According to the preliminary version, Avayev killed his wife and daughter and committed suicide,” the source told the attorney’s office, adding that a domestic conflict could be behind the murder.
Gazprombank is a private Russian bank that ranks third in terms of assets in the country.
It was created to meet the financial needs of Gazprom, the natural gas giant that is one of the world’s largest exporters.
After Russia’s economy collapsed in 1998, in the last days of Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, Gazprombank took over most of the gas export contracts with foreign countries.
The bank has in the past done business with close associates of President Vladimir Putin and has been implicated in money laundering scandals in Europe.
Since November 2014, the bank’s largest shareholder has been Gozfond, which belongs to Putin ally Yuri Shamalov.
Bank boss Alexei Miller was also pictured with Putin.
The bank’s main businesses are corporate banking, retail banking, investment banking and custody services.
However, while Russia’s largest bank Sberbank has been completely cut off from access to the dollar and US companies have been banned from doing business with the second-largest VTB, Gazprombank has escaped the worst of sanctions.
The EU said it must continue trading with Gazprombank over continued payments for imported gas.
Last year, the EU imported 45 percent of its natural gas from Russia, worth around $70 billion.
Because of this, Gazprombank was not banned from Swift, the financial news software that connects the world’s banks, from which seven other Russian banks were cut off.
The Sun Online has reached out to Gazprombank for comment.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5152984/russian-banker-found-dead-moscow-gazprombank/ Putin’s ally was found shot dead in a £2million Moscow flat along with a pregnant wife and 13-year-old daughter