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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Suspect in Sberbank Heist Found Dead Outside Chita

The body of a suspect in Saturday's robbery of 38.69 million rubles ($1.5 million) in cash from a Sberbank branch in Chita has been found in a shallow grave outside the Siberian city, police said Thursday.

It was the latest development in one of the country's largest heists in recent history, which investigators say was fraught with intrigue and betrayal.

The man's body was found in a grave about 20 kilometers outside Chita where his accomplices buried him after he was murdered following the robbery, RIA-Novosti reported.

Also found in the grave was the handgun used to shoot both of the bank's security guards, one of whom investigators say was an accomplice, RIA-Novosti said. Police have identified the guard suspected of collusion as Vyacheslav Popov, a former OMON commando who let in the robbers.

After entering the bank, the robbers tied up Popov, 46, and fellow guard Viktor Kotovsky, 57, and shot them dead. They also destroyed a computer hard disk that was receiving footage from the bank's surveillance cameras, investigators said.

Popov's wife helped the investigators solve the case, Gazeta.ru reported.

Five suspects were arrested at the Chita airport Tuesday, and a Chita court on Thursday sanctioned their arrest. If charged and convicted with multiple homicide, they could face life in prison.

Investigators also managed to recover some 18 million rubles ($695,000) of the stolen cash, but none of the 9 ounces of gold and 62 ounces of silver bullion the robbers made off with.