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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

$1 Million Holdup on Garden Ring

Gunmen held up a car during rush hour traffic on the Garden Ring and made off with more than $1 million in cash, city police said.

The assailants used their Audi-A6 sedan to block the BMW X-5 off-road vehicle carrying several businessmen at around 6 p.m. near the Novinsky Passazh shopping mall on Novinsky Bulvar, just a stone's throw from the U.S. Embassy, a police source told Interfax.

The attackers fired several rounds of ammunition into the air and threatened to shoot the businessmen if they did not hand over the $1.2 million that had just been withdrawn from a bank, the source said.

The assailants fled by car with the money, and police mounted a citywide manhunt for the Audi, which had Moscow region license plates.

No one in the car was injured in the attack, the source said. It was unclear how many people were in the car and how many assailants were involved in the attack.

Reached by telephone Thursday evening, city police spokesman Kirill Gerasimenko confirmed that the attack had happened but declined to give any details.

A law enforcement source told Regnum.ru that the businessmen headed up a St. Petersburg real estate company and had come to Moscow to purchase several pieces of property. Despite the growth and modernization of the consumer banking sector, most people in Russia continue to pay cash for everything, including apartments and cars.

In a similar high-profile crime in January 2006, Italian businessman Pierpaolo Antinori, 52, was stabbed in his car near Santa Fe restaurant in central Moscow and robbed of two briefcases containing 400,000 euros, a down payment for orders of designed Italian footwear.

Antinori, who organized Italian footwear exhibitions in Moscow, was stabbed in the leg during the robbery, and he bled to death.

A 22-year-old Moscow resident, Alexei Draier, has been charged in the robbery and killing.