Latvia Freezes Antonov Assets After Krajbanka Takeover, TV3 Says

Latvia froze assets, including a house and 14 luxury cars, that belong to Vladimir Antonov after regulators halted operations at his Latvijas Krajbanka AS (LKB1R) last week, TV3’s Neka Personiga reported, citing the police.

The cars are valued at about 1 million euros ($1.3 million), the television program reported. Antonov’s house in Jurmala, a seaside city outside the Latvian capital, Riga, was also seized, the television program said.

Lithuania’s government took over Bankas Snoras AB (SRS1L), the country’s third-biggest bank by deposits, on Nov. 16 after the central bank discovered that assets reported on the lender’s balance sheet were missing. The Latvian bank regulator suspended operations at Krajbanka, a local unit of Snoras, on Nov. 21 and says about 100 million lati ($190.8 million) may be missing. The regulator said today an insolvency procedure for Krajbanka will be filed in court this week.

Former Snoras owners Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas told a U.K. judge on Nov. 25 they were innocent of Lithuanian allegations of fraud and embezzlement that pushed the bank into insolvency.

Antonov, 36, and Baranauskas, 53, were granted bail by Judge Caroline Tubbs at a hearing in London. They were arrested in the U.K. capital Nov. 24 after Lithuanian authorities issued a European arrest warrant.

Antonov “strenuously denies dishonesty in any of his dealings,” Rachel Scott, his lawyer, told the court. “He doesn’t impose a serious flight risk.”

The men are accused of stealing about 879 million litas ($339 million) through forgery and misappropriation, U.K. prosecutor Natalie Soule said. They allegedly forged documents to show false deposits in unspecified Swiss banks, Soule said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Eglitis in Riga at aeglitis@bloomberg.net

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

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