The body of Mikhail Pakhomov, 36, has been discovered stuffed into a barrel of cement in a garage near Moscow, investigators said on Monday. Pakhomov, a legislator in the Lipetsk city parliament with the ruling United Russia party, was reported missing early last week and a murder investigation was opened.
“Pakhomov’s body was discovered in a barrel of cement near the village of Obukhovo in the Moscow Region district of Noginsk,” an Investigative Committee spokesperson told RIA Novosti. The barrel was in the basement of a private garage, the spokespeson added.
On Sunday, police said in a statement they detained five people aged between 24 and 30 who are believed to be involved. They face up to 15 years in prison on charges of kidnapping. They also detained three on suspicion of stealing property worth about 400,000 rubles ($13,000) from Pakhomov. In total, twelve people have been arrested so far in connection with his death.
Investigators said Yevgeny Kharitonov, 40, a former Moscow Region housing utilities official, is suspected of ordering Pakhomov’s murder. Kharitonov was arrested earlier on Monday on board a flight departing Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport headed for Krasnodar.
Kharitonov is believed to have ordered Pakhomov's murder over unpaid debts, investigators said. A number of Pakhomov’s personal possessions were discovered in a vehicle pulled over by traffic police near Moscow last Thursday. Police searched the vehicle after the driver began “acting strangely.”