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Moscow police raid Lebedev's bank

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Billionaire Alexander Lebedev, who owns the UK's Independent newspaper, had his bank HQ raided by Moscow police

Billionaire Alexander Lebedev, who owns the UK's Independent newspaper, had his bank HQ raided by Moscow police

Billionaire Alexander Lebedev, who owns the UK's Independent newspaper, had his bank HQ raided by Moscow police

Billionaire Alexander Lebedev, owner of Britain's Independent newspaper, has been held inside the Moscow headquarters of a bank he owns while masked police rifled through company files.

A spokesman for Mr Lebedev said around 30 armed officers surrounded Mr Lebedev's National Reserve Bank before they entered.

He said he knew of no reason for the raid.

A police spokesman refused to comment.

Mr Lebedev recently bought the Independent and also owns the London Evening Standard. He has a stake in Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper and is part-owner of national airline Aeroflot.

Raiding company property and seizing computers and documents is common practice among Russia's law-enforcement agencies.

Security guards said later that the search was over and that police had left.

PA