Irkutsk City Duma member detained in case related to murder of Klyuchevskie organized crime group members

Irkutsk City Duma member detained in case related to murder of Klyuchevskie organized crime group members
Aleksander Panko

The day before, law enforcement officials started investigating 2 Duma members in a city of Chita for murder of 9.

Aleksander Panko, an Irkutsk City Duma member, has been detained on suspicion of involvement in killings of members of an organized crime group Klyuchevskie that functionated in Zabaykalsky Krai (Transbaikal krai). This is being reported by an IrCity news agency with reference to its source within law enforcement. 

It was learned today that Panko had been detained on October 18, when he was driving his car. After that, he was conveyed to the city of Chita. At the present time, he is in a temporary detention facility. He is expected to be charged under article Murder of two or more persons (item 2 of article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. 

Panko - apart from his political activities - is known as a businessman. In particular, he is the owner of a leisure centre Ershi which also comprises a club-restaurant Dikaya Loshad, and Yubileyny Group. He is also the president of the ice-skating federation in Irkutsk region. Within the City Duma, he is the head of the committee for property and land management.

Last week, before Panko was detained, there emerged messages stating that the investigation bodies launched checks into a former Chita region Duma member Dmitry Nepomnyashchy and Chita City Duma member Aleksey Guskov. They were suspected of being involved in Klyuchevskie gang and killings of 9 persons during the period from 1995 to 2005, reports Zabaykalsky rabochy with reference to its source familiar with the background of the case. The former Duma members are being accused of three crimes instances. 

The first murder dates back to September 28, 1995. The investigation theory is that five active members of the Klyuchevskie organized crime group (including Nepomnyashchy and Guskov) - under the instructions of the gang’s leaders - strangled two young men in the woods near Chita. It is assumed that it had been a criminal skirmish, noted the source.

Nepomnyashchy is also believed to be an accomplice in the murder of a man committed under the instructions of the gang’s leader in summer, 1998. The investigation theory is that Guskov was involved in the murder of two near the city of Chita, that same year. All three victims were strangled.

Moreover, Nepomnyashchy is suspected of being involved in a shooting of a co-owner of a major shopping center in Chita in August, 2002, and murder of a person of Armenian descent in March, 2004. Guskov is accused of being involved in the murder of the leaders of the Klyuchevskie gang - Klyuchevskoy and Zharov, in May, 2005. Then, the Klyuchevskie gang’s leaders were shot by their own cronies during the division of the spheres of influence. 

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