State security officers raid top Ukrainian investment bank

KIEV, April 26 (Reuters) - Ukraine’s state security service (SBU) raided the Kiev offices of Dragon Capital, one of the country’s largest investment banks, the bank’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Reuters, Olga Beloblovskaya said she had no more more details about the investigation, but said Dragon Capital had always operated within the limits of the law.

“They have a court order to remove computer equipment. They say it’s about the illegal use of software. But the firm bought this programme legally and officially. They want to take all the computers and paralyse our work,” she said in a Facebook post.

The SBU did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ukraine has struggled to shake off a reputation for endemic corruption and businesses often complain of harassment from law enforcement bodies and the tax revenue service.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman interrupted a televised cabinet meeting to express his surprise at the news of the raid, which he warned could affect investor sentiment.

“I don’t have the right to meddle in the work of the SBU, but I think that everything should be done properly, without paralysing (Dragon Capital’s) work,” he told ministers.

“This doesn’t help to build the investment climate,” he said. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Matthias Williams and Louise Ireland)