Federal agents arrest sitting governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk Territory on suspicion of organizing multiple murders
Federal agents have arrested Sergey Furgal, the sitting governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk Territory, on suspicion of orchestrating the murder of several entrepreneurs in the region between 2004 and 2005. Officials from Russia’s Investigative Committee and Federal Security Service are reportedly cooperating in the case.
Governor Furgal will face multiple felony charges, as will four other suspects arrested earlier for their alleged roles in the same organized crime group.
Furgal, a member of the nominally opposition party LDPR, has been in office since September 2018, when he defeated longtime incumbent Vyacheslav Shport (the candidate from the ruling United Russia party) in a runoff election.
During the 2000s, when federal investigators say he was involved in organized crime, Furgal managed a lumber firm and then ran a scrap-metal business. In 2005, he joined LDPR and became a deputy in the Khabarovsk Territory’s legislative assembly. Two years later, he was elected to a seat in Russia’s State Duma.
In March 2019, federal agents arrested Viktor Ishaev, Khabarovsk’s first governor, on suspicion of stealing money from the oil company Rosneft. Sources close to the Putin administration told the newspaper Vedomosti that Ishaev supported Furgal’s successful election bid in 2018 against Vyacheslav Shport. Several members of Ishaev’s old team later found roles in Furgal’s cabinet. Ishaev has been under house arrest for more than a year now and his case is still being investigated.