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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kidnappers Target Senator's Girl

Federation Council Senator Andrei Vavilov said Wednesday that unidentified attackers tried to kidnap his 4-year-old daughter in Monaco.

People close to Vavilov connected the incident to an escalating conflict between the senator and a former business partner, State Duma Deputy Ashot Yegiazaryan, Ekho Moskvy reported, without elaborating. Yegiazaryan denied any involvement in the kidnapping attempt, calling the speculation "a provocation," RIA-Novosti reported.

The incident happened Tuesday as Vavilov, his wife and daughter were taking a walk while on vacation in Monaco, Vavilov's aide Anna Syomkina told Interfax. Unknown people approached the trio and tried to snatch the girl but failed, Interfax said. The attackers had features of natives of the Caucasus, Ekho Moskvy reported, citing witnesses of the incident.

Vavilov told RIA-Novosti that he had received several threatening telephone calls in recent weeks. He did not elaborate.

Vavilov has reported the kidnapping attempt to local police, RIA-Novosti said.

Vavilov, a former deputy finance minister, has surfaced in several high-profile corruption cases. In the 1990s, he was linked to a scandal over missing federal funds earmarked to MAPO Group to buy MiG fighter jets. MAPO's accounts at the time were handled by Unikombank, headed by Yegiazaryan.