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Riot Police Search Russia's Central Bank

A man walks past the headquarters of the Central Bank in Moscow. Reuters

Riot police searched a branch of Russia's Central Bank alongside representatives from the country's Investigative Committee, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Monday.

Officials seized a number of documents in a raid on Friday night.

Bank employees told Vedomosti that it was the first time in recent memory that riot police had accompanied investigators.

“As a general rule, the Central Bank always provides documents [to the authorities] on demand,” the source said.

The documents are believed to be connected to a case involving the International Joint-Stock Bank (MAB), one Central Bank employee told Vedomosti.

MAB had its license revoked by Russian authorities in February 2016. The bank held more than 6 billion rubles ($92.2 million) as a deposit for government-owned company Almazuvelirexport. The state-owned enterprise came under investigation after its two top managers were accused of stealing money from the deposit from 2007 to 2011.

A press spokesperson for the Central Bank confirmed that a search had taken place on Friday which related to “certain employees.”

“The Central Bank is fully committed to identifying and punishing those who have broken the law, even if such people are bank employees,” the spokesperson told Vedomosti.

The Investigative Committee and the Almazuvelirexport Bank did not respond to requests for comment.

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