Two former executives at major Russian gas companies have been found dead in two days under mysterious circumstances, according to multiple reports.
Sergei Protosenya, formerly the chief accountant at Russian gas giant Novatek, is the latest to turn up dead, Spanish news site Telecino reports.
The 55-year-old millionaire was found dead along with his wife and daughter at a villa in the town of Lloret de Mar near Barcelona earlier this week, law enforcement sources told the news site. Police have not officially named the family, however.
Protosenya, a former member of Novatek’s board of directors, was found hanged at the scene, while his wife and daughter had been stabbed, the report said. Investigators are said to be examining two different scenarios: that Protosenya killed his wife and daughter before taking his own life, or that all three were murdered by someone who then staged the crime scene.
The family was visiting Spain over the Easter holidays. Protosenya was said to be worth about 400 million euros.
His death reportedly took place on April 19—just a day after a former vice president of Russia’s Gazprombank was found dead along with his wife and daughter in similar circumstances in Moscow.
Vladislav Avayev, 51, was found with a fatal gunshot wound in his multi-million dollar apartment on Universitetsky Prospekt on April 18, local authorities said. The body of his wife was found nearby, while the couple’s 13-year-old daughter was found in her bed in a different room, according to Kommersant.
Investigators said they had preliminarily concluded that Avayev likely killed his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself, as there were no signs of anyone else having been in the apartment and the gun was found in Avayev’s hand.
Local reports, citing neighbors, provided a flurry of different theories as to what happened, with some suggesting Avayev and his wife had not been getting along, some blaming sanctions, and others saying the whole family was more likely murdered.
Bizarrely, the deaths of Avayev and Protosenya are only the latest of those tied to Russia’s gas industry. On Feb. 25, just one day after Russia launched its all-out war against Ukraine, 61-year-old Gazprom exec Alexander Tyulyakov was found hanged outside St. Petersburg.
He had served as the deputy general director of Gazprom's unified settlement center, or the treasury, for corporate security. Though his death was deemed a suicide, Novaya Gazeta reported at the time that Gazprom’s security service arrived at the scene and pushed out local investigators.
In perhaps another blow to the Russia’s gas and oil industry, oligarch Vagit Alekperov, a top Putin ally, stepped down Thursday as president of Lukoil, the country’s second-largest oil company.
The move comes after U.K. and E.U. sanctions were imposed on him that block him from entering Europe or Britain. Incidentally, however, his resignation also comes after the Lukoil board of directors called for “the immediate termination of the armed conflict” in Ukraine early last month.