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Bank Linked to Fatal Car Crash

The luxury vehicles that mowed down four Moldovan workers on the road to Domodedovo Airport this week were being driven by Avangard Bank employees but were not carrying senior bank officials, the bank said Thursday.

The Moldovans died after being struck by a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Mercedes-Benz S600 early Monday morning. Reports said at the time that the pedestrians were possibly drunk but were using a crosswalk.

But the bank said the accident took place on a non-illuminated strip of road, not a crosswalk, and the drunken workers "jumped out" in front of the cars, making it impossible for the drivers to stop in time.

The workers' families would "absolutely" receive material support, the bank said in a statement on its web site without providing any figures.

The cars are owned by a separate company called Avangard-Avtolizing and were being rented by another firm, Yunitreid Korporatsia, the statement said.

It acknowledged that the cars were used to transport directors of Avangard Holding, including bank president Kirill Minovalov, but said none of them were in the vehicles at the time of the incident.

The Blue Buckets motorist rights group said earlier this week that police may be trying to cover up the incident. But Moldova's ambassador to Russia, Vyacheslav Vylku, told Novaya Gazeta on Wednesday that he had no reason not to trust the ongoing investigation.

Cover-up allegations followed another high-profile road incident last year, a car crash involving a Mercedes-Benz belonging to LUKoil vice president Anatoly Barkov that left two dead. Barkov was cleared by police, but a new investigation was opened last month.

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