Prospective Saab buyer Vladimir Antonov arrested in Britain image

Vladimir Antonov, the Russian business man and once prospective buyer of Saab, has been arrested in Britain in an inquiry into asset stripping.

City of London Police said: “In response to a Europe-wide arrest warrant officers arrested a 36-year-old man in London this afternoon.”

Lithuanian prosecutors want to question him as part of an investigation into claims involving Snoras Bank.

In addition, Raimondas Baranauskas, minority owner of Snoras Bank, has been detained in London after a European arrest warrant has been issued on Wednesday.
Hundreds of millions of euros are believed to have been siphoned off from Snoras and a subsidiary bank in neighbouring Latvia.

The troubles for the Russian financier Vladimir Antonov began last week when the Lithuanian government seized his bank, Snoras Bank, after finding a hole in its assets of about 1 billion litas ($386 million) and alleging fraudulent transactions, Reuters reports.

According to Janis Brazovskis, an official with Latvia’s Finance and Capital Markets Commission — Antonov’s failed attempt to acquire the troubled Swedish automaker Saab might have triggered the downfall of the two Baltic banks.

Mr Antonov owns 68% of Bankas Snoras and an administrator has been appointed to assess its financial position.

Antonov is a long-time backer of Spyker but was kept out of the Dutch firm’s deal to buy Saab in 2010 because of US concerns over his suitability as a shareholder in the new group.