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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reports: Suspect Held in Kukura's Abduction

Investigators have detained an accomplice in the kidnapping of LUKoil chief financial officer Sergei Kukura last fall, two newspapers reported Tuesday.

Yury Statsenko, a suspected member of a Smolensk kidnapping ring, was detained June 12 on suspicion of killing another member of the ring, Vladimir Vinokurov, Izvestia and Vremya Novostei reported on their front pages.

Statsenko was detained in the Moscow region and transferred to the Smolensk region, where he admitted that he had helped organize Kukura's abduction Sept. 12, the reports said.

Both papers described in detail how Vinokurov, Statsenko and others in the ring plotted and carried out the kidnapping of Kukura in an attempt to get a ransom of about $6 million. They kept Kukura in a small village in the Smolensk region for 13 days before they realized that they would not be able to collect any ransom without being caught, the reports said. So they freed him.

Despite the detailed accounts of Statsenko's testimony, both Smolensk and Moscow law enforcers on Tuesday flatly denied any link between the arrest of Statsenko and the kidnapping.

A senior investigator at the Smolensk region prosecutor's office confirmed Statsenko's arrest but insisted it had nothing to do with the kidnapping.

The Moscow region prosecutor's office, which is investigating the case, also said there was no connection.

LUKoil declined to comment.