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29th November 2011

Lithuanian Snoras bank funds missing - arrests made

Bankas Snoaras AB is insolvent and LtL 3.4bn (€985m £845m $1,314m ¥102.2bn Y8,391m) of funds is said to be missing. Lithuania's fifth largest bank was taken into government control on November 16th. At that time the bank was thought to be short of liquidity only. The government has now concluded that there can be no quick recovery, if any at all for the bank. The Lithuanian government said that the state would add to the country' deposit insurance fund to ensure that depositors got the level of insured deposits they were entitled to and that the bank would be recapitalised. It also stressed that it could afford these actions from its own funds and would not need to seek funding from other countries.


Latvia took over Latvijas Krajbanka AS, a Latvian majority owned subsidiary of Snoaras and also reports missing funds.


Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas were arrested in the UK under an international arrest warrant on suspicion of fraud and embezzlement. They are alternatively described as owners or former shareholders of the bank. Antonov was later released on bail having surrendered his passport and met other bail conditions. They were former shareholders of the bank. Antonov is well known in the UK, mainly as the saviour of Portsmouth Football club which was facing bankruptcy. The club says it is not in financial danger from the bank's problems. It is not known whether Baranauskas also was successful with his bail application.