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December 27, 2005

Russian Business Practices.

Here’s a merry little tale of Russian business practices:

A guard at one store described how on opening a suspicious box she found glass vials attached to wires and a timer. After breaking one of the vials, she reported "a repulsive smell" but apparently suffered no ill effects.

Explosives experts defused the devices at both outlets.

There were contradictory reports that gas had also been released at Maxidom's fourth store but failed to cause any injuries.

Although Chechen extremists have carried out a string of attacks in Russia over recent years, the FSB said the motive behind the attack was almost certainly commercial.

"We have ruled out terrorism," Mr Kuznetsov said by telephone from St Petersburg. "Only one chain was affected, the incident took place before shoppers arrived and the devices that were used were pretty primitive."

Managers at Maxidom registered a complaint with the police last week after receiving anonymous letters threatening to disrupt pre-New Year sales, normally the busiest shopping period of the year.

Police identified the gas as methyl mercaptan, a foul-smelling natural gas that in its modified form is used in the production of pesticides and jet fuel.

We once opened a Russian company, set up the bank acount and so on. Three days later the local mafiosi were knocking on our door with copies of the documents and photos of our driver’s son being dropped off at school, to, err, encourage us to pay our local additional taxes.

Yes, my business is still based in Russia and yes, I’m here in Portugal. Oddly, there is a connection.

December 27, 2005 in Business | Permalink


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