Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) is carrying out a raid at the headquarters of billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim investment group on Tverskoy Bulvar, the MediaZona news site reported on Thursday, citing eyewitnesses and an unidentified source close to the company.
The entrance to the building has been blocked by FSB officers and staff are prohibited from using their mobile phones, according to eyewitnesses.
The Agentstvo Strakhovikh Novostei news website reported that the searches are also being carried out in the main office of the Soglasie insurance company on Ulitsa Gilyarovskogo. The insurance company is part of Onexim.
There are officers with guns on every floor of the office and the employees do not understand what is happening, according to the website.
The raids are linked with the pressure on Prokhorov, the Dozhd television channel reported, citing sources in the RBC holding, owned by ONEXIM Group. According to Dozhd's sources, Prokhorov is being forced to sell the media holding.
The holding, which includes a newspaper, website and cable television channel is one of the few private media holdings in Russia that stick to the policy of independence from the Kremlin. Over the past several months RBC has produced a number of investigations about the business activities of alleged relatives of Putin.
Earlier this month, the Ren-TV television channel showed a video in which Prokhorov's company Quadre was accused of raising prices for utilities and transferring the money offshore. Ren-TV said that Prokhorov's RBC publishes offshore investigations of other people but not of their owner.
RBC editor-in-chief Yelizaveta Osetinskaya declined to comment when reached by the Moscow Times.