A Russian businessman and his Lithuanian partner were arrested on Thursday in connection with a money laundering investigation that has affected Lithuania and Latvia.
According to The Associated Press, Vladimir Antonov, 36, who owns Portsmouth Football Club and has tried to invest in cash-strapped car maker Saab, was arrested in London.
Lithuanian prosecutor Tomas Krusna told reporters that Antonov's Lithuanian partner, Raimondas Baranauskas, 53, was also detained on an arrest warrant that was issued by investigators who are looking into alleged fraud and money laundering at his banks in the Baltic states.
Police said the two men will go before a London court later Friday. They were detained overnight.
London police who spoke on Antonov's arrest issued a statement noting that the arrests of two men -- age 36 and 53 -- were in response to a Europe-wide arrest warrant in London's financial center. British officials didn't name the suspect and won't do so until they are charged.
Lithuanian prosecutors issued an arrest Warrant for Antonov and Baranauskas on Wednesday. Antonov owns more than 60 percent of Snoras Bank.
The Bank of Lithuania on Thursday told The AP that his bank there, Snoras Bank, will be liquidated. It also said liquidating that bank is the best solution for the country's financial system and economy, as it was affected after the bank was nationalized and its operations halted.
Lithuanian regulators have said that that hundreds of millions of euros were siphoned from Snoras, which is the country's fifth-largest financial institution. Latvian authorities have told The AP that similar asset-stripping occurred on huge scale at Latvija Krajbanka, a subsidiary bank controlled by Snoras.
Lithuanian bank chief Vitas Vasiliauskas told The AP that the government was liquidating the bank instead of wasting taxpayers' money trying to help a plane that won't fly.
There is no other way to solve this situation, he said.
Lithuania's Finance Ministry on Friday said it would pay out all guaranteed deposits -- up to euro100,000 ($132,000) -- at Snoras by Christmas. According to a report from The AP, this would require about 4 billion litas ($1.5 billion) in funds.
Latvia's government is set to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the fate of Latvijas Krajbanka, the report noted. Latvijas Krajbanka was Latvia's 10th largest bank by assets following its taken over by regulators on Monday.
Janis Brazovskis, an official with Latvia's Finance and Capital Markets Commission appointed to oversee Krajbanka, told The AP on Wednesday that Antonov's failed attempt to acquire the Swedish automaker Saab might have triggered the Baltic banks' downfall, as approximately 100 million lats ($200 million) were siphoned from the bank to increase its charter capital and finance Antonov's investment projects to include the unsuccessful Saab takeover.
Baranauskas, owns more than 25 percent in Snoras, and has said that Lithuania's decision to nationalize Snoras was robbery and an attack on Antonov, according to The AP.