Bloomberg News

Snoras Shareholders Detained in U.K. on Lithuanian Warrant

November 24, 2011

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas, majority shareholders of Bankas Snoras AB that was taken over by Lithuania’s government on Nov. 16, have been detained in the U.K. after prosecutors in the Baltic nation issued an international arrest warrant.

“In response to the Europe-wide arrest warrant, the City of London Police arrested two men aged 36 and 53 in the City of London this afternoon,” a spokesman for the City of London Police said today by phone.

Lithuanian prosecutors issued the warrant for Antonov and Baranauskas yesterday on suspicion of embezzlement and document forgery at Snoras. Baranauskas is also suspected of accounting fraud and abuse of authority, prosecutors have said.

Lithuanian authorities received confirmation at 7.30 p.m. in Vilnius today of Baranauskas’ detention, said Lina Nemeikaite, spokeswoman for the Lithuanian Police. No confirmation on Antonov was received, she added.

A call to Antonov’s spokeswoman Natalja Olesik seeking comment was not answered. The two shareholders criticized the government on Nov. 21 saying in a statement that the actions taken “radically differ from the methods and generally accepted rules of civilized business practices in democratic countries, and from the norms of a market economy.”

The Lithuanian government took over Snoras after the central bank discovered that at least 300 million euros ($400 million) in assets were missing. The central bank is expected to decide on the lender’s restructuring tonight.

--Editor: Alan Crosby

To contact the reporters on this story: Milda Seputyte in Vilnius at mseputyte@bloomberg.net; Blanche Gatt in London at bgatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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