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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Search Offices in Moskva Hotel Probe

Investigators searched several private firms in Moscow on Tuesday as part of a probe into the large-scale embezzlement of money connected to the construction of the Moskva Hotel, next to the Kremlin.

The Moskva Hotel, located between the State Duma and the Kremlin, was demolished on City Hall's orders in 2004.

A lucrative contract to rebuild the Moskva was won by the obscure U.S.-registered Decorum company, owned by Liechtenstein-registered Hypo Investment Bank, which formed a joint venture with City Hall called Decmos.

Investigators opened a criminal case on June 1 into the embezzlement of $87.5 million that belonged to city-owned OEK-Finans by unidentified people, Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Dudukina told Interfax.

City authorities had paid $87.5 million to Deutsche Bank as part of Decorum's debt, but unidentified people managed to use the money to repay a bank loan that they owed, Interfax reported, citing case materials.

A senior Interior Ministry official told RIA-Novosti that investigators on Monday searched the Romanov Dvor and Daev Plaza business centers.

The Romanov Dvor administration denied that a search had taken place in the business center, saying there was only a routine check of one of the tenants, Gazeta.ru reported.

The Interior Ministry said a total of three offices were searched in the two business centers, Interfax reported.