Police Raid IKEA's Russian Headquarters
Police have raided the Russian headquarters of IKEA, a spokesperson for the Swedish retailer told reporters on Thursday.
Officers from the Moscow Region's Economic Crimes unit searched offices in the Khimki Business Park north of Moscow, the RBC news agency reported.
IKEA's lawyer, Semyon Shevchenko, said that the raid and a criminal case initiated against the Swedish retailer are links in one chain aimed at seizing the land where the IKEA headquarters are located.
The company is ready to cooperate with the authorities and will not give in to blackmail, Shevchenko added.
The 16-hectare plot of land has been at the root of a long-term dispute between the retailer and the Khimki Collective Agricultural Enterprise (KSKhP). They accuse IKEA of faking the documents required to obtain the land on the Leningradskoe highway, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
KSKhP board members claim that their signatures were forged and that they never agreed to give away the disputed land to the Khimki district administration. Local administrators then in turn sold the land to IKEA.
The investigation aims to figure out the role of both sides in the disagreement, Kommersant sources said.