Russian police raided media tycoon's bank in Moscow

2nd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Armed and masked police raided Tuesday the Moscow offices of National Reserve Bank, which is owned by billionnaire Alexander Lebedev, according to the bank.

The raid, which lasted an hour, had to do with "operations by one of the bank's clients in 2008" and did not "affect day-to-day activities", the bank said in a statement on its website.

While the raid was under way, Lebedev's spokesman Artyom Artyomov said in footage shown by Russian news agencies: "Men in masks, armed with automatic weapons are blocking the building."

Police confiscated documents from two of the bank's offices including the headquarters, he added.

Lebedev controls the bank through his National Reserve Corporation and also has a number of media assets which include Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta and the Independent daily in Britain.

The raid was done as part of a criminal probe, Moscow police spokesman Viktor Biryukov told Interfax without elaborating.

© 2010 AFP

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