The former president of the Lithuanian Football Federation has been revealed as the owner of an offshore company that handled million-dollar transactions and owned the Sports Palace in Vilnius, according to the Panama Papers leaked from the law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Liutauras Varanavičius
© DELFI (R.Achmedovo nuotr.)

15min.lt reports that Liutauras Varanavičius, who headed the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) between 2000 and 2012, is suggested in the leaked documents to be the beneficiary of Pallas First Investments S.A., an offshore company set up in the British Virgin Islands in 2002. The company had an account in the Swiss bank Campaigne Bancaire Geneve.

Mossack Fonseca documents record three transactions between 2003 and 2005 involving Pallas First Investments S.A. and Balkan Investment Bank, part of Ūkio Bankas Investment Group owned by a controversial Lithuanian-Russian businessman Vladimir Romanov.

Romanov was the owner of Ūkio Bankas which went bankrupt in 2013 amidst embezzlement suspicions. The businessman is currently hiding from Lithuanian law enforcement in Russia.

Pallas First Investment S.A. is also shown to at one point own the Sports Palace in Vilnius. In another deal, Romanov's business pledges to buy the property.

As the president of the Lithuanian Football Federation, Varanavičius represented the country at UEFA and FIFA.

His links to Romanov have not been a secret - during his tenure at the helm of the LFF, he also held a job at Balkan Investment Bank and the Scottish football club Heart of Midlothian, which was also owned by Romanov.

Varanavičius has confirmed his links to the offshore company to 15min.lt, but denies he has drawn any substantial benefits from it.

"I was never the owner of the company. I was the company's director. Not the director per se, a person in charge. But I drew neither income nor incurred any expense at the company. I know nothing about it," he said.

He insists he disclosed all his businesses and bank accounts during his tenure at the LFF: "All my businesses were declared and all my accounts were declared. I declared all my income, including in Switzerland that I got from FIFA. In this business, I had no income nor owned any assets," he told 15min.lt.

Vladimir Romanov
Vladimir Romanov
© DELFI (P.Garkausko nuotr.)
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