British officers are no longer able to find former Snoras Bank shareholders Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas who have to be extradited to Lithuania, the Baltic country's Prosecutor General's Office said on Friday.
Vladimir Antonov, Raimondas Baranauskas
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

According to information available to Lithuanian law enforcement, they had left the UK.

The lrytas.lt news website reports they have fled to Russia where Vladimir Romanov, the former owner of another Lithuanian bank that went under amidst suspicions of embezzlement, Ūkio Bankas, is hiding. Romanov is also wanted by Lithuanian law enforcement.

According to the Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office statement, British law enforcement "don't know the whereabouts of the suspects".

"The existing situation is deemed a complete and utter failure of British law enforcement," it says.

Lithuanian institutions have taken actions to help clear the situation up for the case heating in court to be finished.

British courts of two instances have agreed to extradite Antonov and Baranauskas to Lithuania where they should be arrested under a ruling of a Lithuanian court.

On May 6, the High Court of London upheld Westminster Magistrates' Court's ruling to extradite the two former bankers to Lithuania. They immediately used the possibility to postpone their extradition, requesting to lodge an appeal with a court of higher instance.

Without awaiting the decision, the former Snoras owners left the UK, breaching the imposed measures of suppression.

There's a European arrest warrant issued by Lithuanian prosecutors for Antonov and Baranauskas' arrests as they are suspected to have embezzled around EUR 490 million of Snoras assets. Prosecutors have also restricted their rights to assets worth EUR 233 million.

Baranauskas, who was Snoras board chairman, and Antonov, one of its shareholders, fled Lithuania in November, 2011 when the bank was being shut down. They lived in the UK ever since.

BNS
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