Albanian banker shot dead in Tirana: police

TIRANA Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:16am EDT

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TIRANA (Reuters) - The manager of Albania's fourth largest bank, Credins, was shot dead on Thursday as he entered his office in Tirana, police said.

Several witnesses said Artan Santo was shot at least five times by two men on a motorcycle at a busy crossroads just off Tirana's main boulevard where the bank's offices are located.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the killing. Police have offered a reward of 10,000 euros for anyone who can provide information on his killers.

Witnesses said Santo's body lay for half an hour under a white sheet as police investigated the scene.

A former director of Albania's Savings Bank, which was bought by Austria's Raiffeisen 10 years ago, Santo, 58, left to lead Credins Bank, established by a group of Albanian businessmen. Fifteen of them control almost 72 percent of Credins shares.

Under Santo's management, Credins Bank grew to become Albania's fourth largest by deposits, with a 7.9 percent market share in 2012. Santo was among the shareholders. He also owned a large stake in a media group.

Santo was well known in the Balkan country for his acting role as a boy who overcame adversity to climb a mountain in the 1970 Albanian film The Courageous.

(Reporting By Benet Koleka; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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