Russian businessman arrested over Lithuanian bank claims

25th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

British police on Thursday arrested Russian businessman and Portsmouth Football Club chief Vladimir Antonov as part of an investigation into asset stripping.

London police confirmed they had detained a 36-year-old after Lithuania prosectors issued a Europe-wide arrest warrant.

Antonov is wanted in Lithuania as part of a probe into the activities of Bankas Snoras, of which he is a former manager.

A 53-year-old man, believed to be his business partner Raimondas Baranauskas, was also detained. At one time he held the posts of the chairman of the bank board and president.

"In response to a Europe-wide arrest warrant, the City of London police have arrested two men, aged 36 and 53 in the City this afternoon," a police spokesman told AFP.

"We are not giving any more information at this stage."

The Lithuanian bank entered administration last week, triggering a pre-trial investigation into claims of fraud and money laundering.

Antonov owns 68 percent of Snoras's shares.

"Both former managers of the bank Snoras have been recognised as suspects with regard to misappropriation of property on a large scale and forgery of documents," prosecutors said in a statement.

The Russian is the backer of Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), which owns English Championship strugglers Portsmouth.

The club, which won the FA Cup in 2008 before suffering a fall from grace which ended with them entering administration in 2010, said its day-to-day operations would "carry on as normal".

© 2011 AFP

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