Moscow launches criminal investigation into banker's murder

Russian news agencies reported Friday that an investigation into the death of senior official of the country's second-biggest bank, who had been found dead in the swimming pool of his home in a Moscow suburb a day earlier, had been launched.

Reports about the death of Oleg Zhukovsky, managing director of the VTB bank, have been widely contradictory. Some reports said he had apparently committed suicide by drowning himself, while others said he was found with his hands and feet tied in an empty swimming pool.

State-controlled VTB, formerly Vneshtorgbank, is the successor to the Soviet-era foreign trade bank.

The investigation was opened by prosecutors in the town of Odintsovo just outside Moscow, the Interfax and RIA-Novosti news agencies reported.

Russia's banking industry has been plagued by violence and corruption allegations. A Central Bank official who focused on cleaning up the banking industry, Andrei Kozlov, was shot to death last year.