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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Investigator Kidnapped

MOSCOW -- A city investigator in the restive North Ossetia region was kidnapped at gunpoint by four unidentified men, Itar-Tass reported Wednesday.

Vitaly Shmarion, a 26-year-old investigator with North Ossetia's prosecutor's office, was seized late Tuesday night in the regional capital Vladikavkaz, the news agency reported, citing the local Interior Ministry.

Shmarion, who is also the son of North Ossetia's Supreme Court deputy chairman, had been investigating thriving illegal alcohol production in the southern Russian republic, and police believe the kidnapping was an attempt by organized crime groups to quash his probe, Itar-Tass said.