Vladimir Antonov Arrested

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 24 November 2011

City of London Police have arrested a 36-year-old man, believed to be Vladimir Antonov in an inquiry over the asset stripping of one of his banks.

Lithuanian prosecutors had issued a Europe-wide arrest warrant for the Pompey owner so they can question him into alleged asset stripping of Bankas Snoras.

Last week it was announced that Bankas Snoras had been placed into administration as it has been alleged that Antonov and his business partner, Raimondas Baranauskas, had used the bank as part of an alleged fraud and money laundering scheme.

Authorities are now investigating what has happened to a significant amount of money that seems to have "gone missing" and have also shut down Krajbanka, another one of Antonov's companies for similar reasons.

According to Ruta Dirsiene, spokeswoman for the Prosecutor's General Office, Antonov and his business partner are "suspects with regard to misappropriation of property on a large scale and forgery of documents."

Pompey fans will have to wait and see what happens after questioning but it's anybody's guess how long this investigation might last.

The big question is simply "How will this news affect Portsmouth Football Club?" and despite reassurances from CSI that the events surrounding Bankas Snoras won't stop "business as usual" - you would have to think that should Antonov be found guilty of the crimes he is accused of then it will have a major impact on us.

However, it should be reiterated that Antonov is innocent until proven guilty. Despite this, the sheer amount of apathy and cynicism coming from Pompey fans is a reminder of how bad things were under the previous regime and nobody wants to experience that again.

We can only hope that a repeat isn't on the horizon because many Pompey fans may well give up on supporting the club altogether.

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