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Former Russian Policeman Jailed For Life For Serial Killings

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- Former policeman Vladimir Basmanov has been sentenced to life in prison for seven murders in Russia's far eastern Primorye region, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The Primorye regional court in Vladivostok ruled that five local men -- two of them former policemen -- killed seven people in order to illegally gain possession of their homes.

The group that was led by Basmanov was also found guilty of fraud, forgery, and theft. The other former policeman, Salavat Biktashev, received a term of 10 years in prison and the other three defendants got between 9 1/2 and 24 years in jail.

Investigators said the group identified homeowners who were considered alcoholics and posed as police officers in order to take their passports and the ownership deeds to their homes.

The homeowners were then abducted and killed.

Read more in Russian here