The Booming Business of Contract Killings in Russia

This one comes from Vidya Ram at Forbes:

“Contract killings may have decreased in frequency since the 1990s and the day of wild capitalism, but they are still occurring regularly in Russia, though they rarely make the headlines,” he told Forbes. “Victims tend to be journalists operating at a local level or local administrators involved in handing out permits, or land allocation.”

Russia’s problem with corruption is widely acknowledged. President Dmitry Medvedev himself has pledged to stamp out the problem.

However, the problem remains, and the troubles in the court system mean that the normal legal routes for solving business disputes or battles over planning permission are rarely effective.

“Thelow level of reliability of the court system means that businessplayers look for other methods of resolving dispute, and this caninclude violent methods,” said Gallo.

“The killings will continue as long as the shadowy side of theeconomy prevails,” says Elena Panfilova, director of TransparencyInternational in Moscow. “It’s not at all good for the business climateand business community.”