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Germany extradites former banker Konovalenko to Russia

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MOSCOW, January 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian ex-banker Konstantin Konovalenko, who is facing fraud charges, has been extradited from Germany and placed in a pre-trial detention center in Moscow, Prosecutor General's Office said on its website on Saturday.

Konovalenko, former head of two commercial banks in Russia, has been accused of organizing a criminal group to extort large sums of money from businessmen and commercial organizations in Moscow.

"German authorities have granted the Russian Prosecutor General's Office request to extradite Russian citizen Konstantin Konovalenko. On January 25, he was escorted to Moscow and placed in a pre-trial detention facility," prosecutors said in a statement.

In 2004, the former banker and his two accomplices, a senior police official and an aide to a Russian lawmaker, developed an elaborate scheme to extort over 30 million rubles (about $1.2 million) from their victims through blackmail and intimidation, the investigation revealed.

Konovalenko's accomplices were arrested and sentenced to long prison terms in 2006.

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