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Banker's Killing Shows Financial Crime 'Rife'

Kozlov was killed as he left a company soccer game (ITAR-TASS) September 15, 2006 -- President Vladimir Putin says the assassination of a senior banker shows that money laundering, crime, and corruption are rife in Russia's financial system

"We are meeting in this format today because of a tragic case -- the murder of the first deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank -- and I think you will agree with me that it is a manifestation of the intensifying situation in the struggle against crime in the economic sphere," Putin said, addressing a meeting of bankers and law enforcement officials today.

Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov was shot dead late on September 13. He had been in charge of a campaign against money laundering in the banking system.

Putin called for an interagency task force -- including prosecutors, customs, and intelligence officers -- to be set up to crack down on financial crime.

He also demanded legislative changes to stamp out suspicious dealings in banking.

( Reuters, ITAR-TASS)

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