Armed men have raided a five-star hotel in Latvia at the centre of Scottish court dispute involving the corrupt nephew of a dead central Asian despot.

The unidentified men charged in to the Garden Palace Hotel in the centre of Riga, the Baltic state’s capital, in a raid described by local media as reminiscent of the “wild east” excesses of former Soviet gangsterism of the 1990s.

Local police said the incident, on Wednesday, was linked to an ongoing civil dispute over the control of the hotel, which is worth millions.

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Hotel managers on Thursday said the raid - during which a women was allegedly thrown out of the luxury venue - had cost the business 150,000 euros.

The Court of Session, Scotland’s highest civil court, in 2014 had to rule on ownership of a secretive Scottish shell firm said at that time to control the hotel.

That case involved a man called Akbar Abdullayev, whose aunt was married to the late despotic president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov.

Mr Abdullayev was arrested in Kiev, Ukraine, earlier this year and is wanted by Interpol in connection with one of the biggest corruption scandals in recent Central Asian history.

The shell firm concerned was called Brook Organisation and was one of Scotland’s 30,000 limited partnerships (SLPs, most of which pay no taxes and file no accounts.

Under new UK Government rules, owners of SLPs had till this week to reveal their identities. As yet, there are still no public filings over Brook Organisation’s persons of ultimate control. Its last filing was to change its address to one of the many bases of SLPs in Scotland, a firm of accountants in the mining village of Douglas, South Lanarkshire.

Mr Abdullayev - whose name is also sometimes transliterated as Abdullaev - effectively lost control of the hotel, and another similar business held through Brook Organisation - after falling out with associates in 2012, according to investigative journalists at Riga’s Re:Baltica.

The latest events come six years after one of Mr Abdullayev’s former business associates in Latvia became the victim of a botched gangland hit. A man was later jailed for nearly 11 years for attempted murder.

There is ongoing litigation over control of the hotel and disputes among owners and between owners, including the man who was victim of the attempted hit, and managers.

The complex Abdullayev case is one of the highest profile to feature SLPs in recent years. “Scottish offshore” has become a byword for a dubious corporate structure in much of the Soviet Union.

Most recently tax officials in Odessa, Ukraine - where many of the SLPs appear to be based - last month seized a large consignment of maize scheduled for export from fictitious firm to the address of an unnamed Scottish company.

Such stories have become so routine that Ukrainian authorities earlier this summer ordered a major crackdown on offshore firms, including Scottish ones.

Off-the-shelf SLPs are still being marketed online alongside accounts at no-questions-asked Latvian banks.

However, the number of new SLPs being registered has collapsed since reforms were announced.