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Former Snoras Owners Transfered Funds to Private Accounts

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Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The Lithuanian central bank alleged that some missing assets at Bankas Snoras AB, the failed bank seized by the state in November, may have been transfered to private accounts of people related to former shareholders.

Snoras allegedly bought securities worth 1.03 billion litai ($380 million) that were later transfered to private Swiss bank accounts of people related to former shareholders, central bank Governor Vitas Vasiliauskas said in a presentation in Parliament in Vilnius today. The securities would then be used as collateral for loans and the funds would later be transfered to offshore accounts.

Former Snoras owners Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas were arrested on Nov. 24 in London after Lithuanian authorities issued European arrest warrants over claims of fraud and embezzlement. The men deny any wrongdoing.

Another 553 million litai of the missing Snoras assets were loans to offshore funds in the Cayman and British Virgin Islands, the central bank said.

Snoras’s liabilities exceeded assets by 2.8 billion litai, Vasiliauskas said.

Missing Snoras property is being located in Austria, the Cayman Islands, Estonia, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Great Britain and Ukraine, Vasiliauskas said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Milda Seputyte in Vilnius at mseputyte@bloomberg.net

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

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