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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

AvtoVAZ Offices Raided by Tax Police

Tax police searched the Moscow offices of the nation's largest automaker, AvtoVAZ, on Tuesday, saying only that the search was part of a probe into the company's activities. Similar raids were held at the company's offices in 26 other regions, Interfax reported.

ORT television reported that AvtoVAZ has remained among the biggest tax evaders in Russia since 1996.

Last year, AvtoVAZ was investigated by police on allegations of fraud, failure to repatriate proceeds and tax evasion. But a February 1999 fire at police headquarters in Samara destroyed related files.

NTV television quoted AvtoVAZ officials who said the search was a routine audit.

Interfax cited a news release from the tax police saying that during the Moscow raid, $50,000 was confiscated from the office of company director Igor Lyachenkov along with a Justice Ministry ID issued in his name. Eavesdropping equipment was also found in the office and "its purpose is being determined."