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Published: 23 august 2012 12:18

Snoras bank tells court how ex-owners Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas embezzled funds

Raimondas Baranauskas, Vladimiras Antonovas
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Raimondas Baranauskas, Vladimir Antonov

Former owners of Lithuania's bankrupt bank Snoras allegedly siphoned away money through transfers to personal accounts, collateral for loans, and fake real estate deals using offshore companies, the Bloomberg news agency has reported, citing documents field by the bank to a London court.

Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas used the Swiss banks HSBC Private Bank and Julius Baer & Co to transfer Snoras assets as collateral for loans to companies owned by or associated with Antonov, Snoras said in a 21 June filing made public this week, according to the report.

Some of the loans were not repaid and the securities were forfeited, it said.

Neither HSBC not Antonov's representatives would comment on the reports.

Antonov allegedly used Snoras' assets to make a mortgage payment on a property in France. The two former owners had companies domiciled in the Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Belize, and the Bahamas, according to the claim.

Snoras claims that Antonov instructed the bank to pay "excessive and commercially unjustifiable price" for properties in Riga from companies owned by or connected to him. The bank estimates that it lost at least 17 million euros as a result of this.

In one such deal, Cyprus-based and Antonov-linked Bandiron Corporation Limited bought the headquarters of Latvijas Krajbanka from Red Projekts for 5.9 million lats (EUR 8.4m) and sold it three days later to Snoras for 23.2 million lats, according to the report.

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