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Central Bank's head Vitas Vasiliauskas gave evidence in Parliamentary investigation of Snoras case

Vitas Vasiliauskas
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Vitas Vasiliauskas
Šaltinis: BNS

Chairman of the Lithuanian central bank Vitas Vasiliauskas said on Tuesday he had been invited to a meeting of the parliamentary Anticorruption Committee to provide information on how much money disappeared from bank Snoras following a publication by the daily Lietuvos Rytas about law enforcement taking measures against Lithuanian banks.

Vasiliauskas, however, said he could not disclose specific numbers and, when asked whether it was a billion litas, said" "We are talking about big money."

"I received an invitation, asking to say how much money left the bank following the Lietuvos Rytas publication. I said the number," the central bank's head said.

Vasiliauskas also categorically denied claims the information about planned operations was leaked from the central bank.

"Yes, I am sure," he said when asked whether he was sure the central bank had not leaked the information about Snoras-related plans. Vasiliauskas said he had heard the same question in the committee meeting.

Asked how many people at the central bank knew about actions against Snoras, Vasiliauskas said "everyone who had to know" but he did not give a specific number.

"We carried out supervisory actions, and we started everything. Yes, we were the chicken or the egg that everything started from. And law enforcement institutions should clear things among themselves," the central bank's board chairman summarized the bank's role in this story.

The parliamentary Anticorruption Committee, carrying out an investigation into dismissal of two top officials of the Financial Crime Investigation Service, continued holding meetings with officials, public servants, and politicians on Tuesday.

Lithuanian Minister of Interior Affairs Raimundas Palaitis sacked two top officials in charge of financial crimes investigation, director Vitalijus Gailius and his deputy Vytautas Giržadas, on 15 February on the basis of information received from the State Security Department, which had conducted an investigation into information leak to do with Snoras bank. The minister had earlier revoked Gailius and Giržadas' access to classified information.

The prime minister said on Monday the information he received from Palaitis and the State Security Department gave him an impression that "the dismissal of the FCIS chiefs was hasty and not based on solid reasons."

On the eve of Snoras' nationalization last November, the Lietuvos Rytas daily reported, citing anonymous sources, the Prosecutor General's Office had already authorized searches at a bank offices and homes of its executives. The daily did not name the bank but said it was a "Lithuanian bank". Snoras owned over a third of Lietuvos Rytas' shares.

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