Lukoil Senior Executive Kidnapped

Sergei Kukura, CFO of Lukoil was kidnapped at gunpoint this morning on his way work. Mr. Kukura's Mercedes was stopped by a group of masked men with rifles. The attackers handcuffed and drugged his driver and bodyguard and drove Mr. Kukura away in a car with blue number plates of a similar type that is usually used by police vehicles, according to a statement from Lukoil. The driver and bodyguard awoke many hours later in the Mercedes in a wooded area outside of Moscow. Lukoil has not heard from the kidnappers and has no idea of the motive for the abduction. Mr. Kukura, who has held his current post since 1996, is a top petroleum expert and had access to "confidential information, including state secrets," according to Lukoil.

Russian businessmen have in the past been targeted by criminal groups, but experts say such high-profile abductions are almost unheard of.