Lithuania arrests Baltic fund manager suspected of misappropriating…

VILNIUS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Lithuania has arrested a former equity fund manager suspected of misappropriating 27 million euros ($29 million), the European Public Prosecutor’s Office said on Monday.

Sarunas Stepukonis, a former partner of the 80 million euro BaltCap Infrastructure Fund at Estonian-registered BaltCap, was arrested on Saturday, said a spokesperson for the office that deals with cases affecting the EU’s financial interests.

Companies owned by BaltCap, the Baltics’ largest private equity fund manager, had asked a Vilnius court to order Stepukonis and two casinos to return 16.7 million euros ($18 million) allegedly misappropriated by him.

The prosecutor’s office has not detailed charges against Stepukonis. It said on Friday that a Lithuanian court had issued a warrant for Stepukonis’ arrest.

Simonas Gustainis, managing partner at BaltCap, said late last month he believed “protection and warning systems” to guard against money laundering had failed at the casinos.

Lithuania-registered Casino Olympic Group Baltija, one of the two gambling firms named in the lawsuit, real money casino no deposit bonus told Reuters it “adheres to the highest standards of compliance with legal requirements”.

Estonia-registered OB Holdings 1, roulette casinos online the other gambling operator named in the lawsuit, did not respond to a Reuters’ request for comment sent on Jan. 29.

BaltCap’s Infrastructure Fund invested in projects in the Baltic countries Lithuania, Latvia and best iphone slots Estonia, and in Poland.

The European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and pension funds managed by the Baltic subsidiaries of Swedish banking groups Swedbank and SEB were among investors in the fund.

(Reporting by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius Editing by Ros Russell)

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