Banker Antonov arrested for 2 months

Banker Antonov arrested for 2 months
Vladimir Antonov

The businessman is suspected of stealing funds from the Sovetsky and other 10 banks.

St. Petersburg arrested banker Vladimir Antonov suspected of a major fraud. The court upheld the application of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for St. Petersburg and appointed him a preventive measure in the form of two months of arrest.

Recall, Vladimir Antonov was detained in Moscow suburbs on suspicion of embezzling money from the Sovetsky bank, with which he had never had anything to do. Under escort, he was taken to St. Petersburg. Simultaneously, searches were carried out in residential and office buildings in the Moscow region, St. Petersburg, Leningrad and Chelyabinsk regions.

Entrepreneur Vladimir Antonov, the ex-owner of the British football club Portsmouth, one of the founders of Converse Group, does not own the Sovetsky bank according to the documents. The credit organization came under financial rehabilitation in October 2015. This decision was made out of signs of the bank's unsustainable financial situation, which create a threat to the interests of its creditors, the regulator clarified.

According to the investigators, the businessman regularly created schemes to steal money from credit organizations. First of all, the issue concerns a theft of 150 million rubles ($2.4m) from the Sovestky bank. In 2015, former bank executives issued a deliberately non-refundable loan to a one-day firm, connected with Antonov. The money was withdrawn through organizations controlled by the entrepreneur and subsequently stolen. The banker is going to be checked for involvement in a fraud in 10 banks. As a source told The CrimeRussia, Vladimir Antonov may be accused of creating a gang (Article 210 of the Criminal Code).

Igor Kopenkin, Antonov's lawyer, believes that they are trying to put across and hang up the bank problems. "Indeed, he planned to buy this bank in due time, but when he asked about the assets, he realized that there is a very large hole, and the bank does not need any money. He refused," said Kopenkin.

At the same time, according to the lawyer, he does not know about ten banks connected with Antonov, investigators say. The only project that was considered by his client was the acquisition of the Sovetsky bank, Kopenkin noted.

Vladimir Antonov is also put on the international wanted list at the request of Lithuania, where he was running a business. He owned the Lithuanian bank Snoras and its Latvian subsidiary Latvijas Krajbanka, which were nationalized. Antonov and another co-owner of the bank, Raymond Baranauskas, were accused of stealing €565 million. At the same time, Russia refused to extradite the banker, and he tried to claim more than 40 billion rubles ($644m) from the Lithuanian authorities through the court.

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