Arrest warrant for World Rally Championship commercial chief Vladimir Antonov
|By David Evans||Wednesday, November 23rd 2011, 19:09 GMT|
World Rally Championship commercial chief Vladimir Antonov is being pursued by a Europe-wide arrest warrant.
Prosecutors in Lithuania were granted the warrant in an attempt to further their investigations into the suspected misappropriation of funds from Snoras Bank - a former sponsor of the Renault Formula 1 team - of which Antonov is a 68 per cent share holder.
Krajbanka, another bank in which Antonov has interests, has also had its trading suspended.
Antonov, who was in London meeting with the FIA and the WRC manufacturers on Monday, is now central to the investigation.
Warrants have been issued for Antonov and his business partner Raimondas Baranauskas.
The prosecutors said: "Both former managers of the bank Snoras have been recognised as suspects with regard to the misappropriation of property on a large scale and forgery of documents. Prosecutor General Mr D. Valys signed the European arrest warrants issued against these persons."
Convers Sports Initiatives, the firm which Antonov backs and owns the rights to the WRC, released a statement prior to the arrest warrants being issued, saying: "We are operationally unaffected by Snoras Bank entering temporary administration. It remains very much business as usual. Snoras Bank has never provided funding for the purchase of a CSI organisation, nor has it lent any money to these businesses after they have been acquired."