Police seek cab that took shot Russian banker to his home

Rob Hastings
Sunday 25 March 2012 22:10 BST

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Louise Thomas

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The driver of a black cab who dropped off a Russian banker near his luxury flat in London's Docklands just moment before he was shot is being urged to contact detectives.

The Metropolitan Police are trying to trace the taxi driver who took German Gorbuntsov on his half-hour journey home from the City on Tuesday evening to come forward "as they may have been in the area when the shooting took place".

The 45-year-old remains in a medically induced coma in hospital, having reportedly been shot five times by a sub-machine gun as he entered the block of flats near Canary Wharf. Police are treating the attack as an attempted assassination.

Mr Gorbuntsov is under armed guard protection in hospital, signalling fears of a second attempt to kill him.

Officer's from the Trident gang crime command, who are dealing with the incident, believe Mr Gorbuntsov was picked up by a black taxi in Bishopsgate in the City at about 7pm and dropped off in Byng Street, shortly before the shooting at about 7.30pm.

The suspected gunman was described as a white male, 6ft, and slim. He was wearing a dark hooded top and spotted running from Byng Street away from Westferry Road, towards Marsh Wall.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said yesterday: "Officers are keen to speak with the [taxi] driver as they may have been in the area when the shooting took place."

The shooting is not thought to be gang-related or linked to any other incidents in the area, according to police. A Met spokesman added: "Officers retain an open mind regarding the motive for the attack at this time."

Mr Gorbuntsov, who is in a "critical but stable" condition and is due to be revived from his coma in two days, was said to have been conscious and "swearing a lot" in the moments after the attack, claims a member of staff at the flats who spoke to Reuters news agency.

His lawyer, Vadim Vedenin, also told the news agency Mr Gorbuntsov had been due to give evidence to the Russian authorities over the attempted murder of another banker, Alexander Antonov, who in 2009 was shot five times.

The pair had previously been caught in a $100million (£63million) financial dispute, but had since reconciled their differences.

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