Iceland’s Special Prosecutor Conducts 16 Raids Skip to content

Iceland’s Special Prosecutor Conducts 16 Raids

Sixteen raids were carried through at the order of Special Prosecutor Ólafur Thór Hauksson yesterday because of his investigation of five cases all related to Glitnir Bank. Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson and six of his associates, who have been sued in New York, are all involved.

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The headquarters of Glitnir. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

“There is suspicion about breach of trust and possible market abuse but at the early stages of an investigation it is difficult to make any statements about the nature of these cases,” Hauksson told RÚV. “One of the issues that must be cleared up is where the money went and we will follow them wherever that is.”

Among the reasons for the raids was a foreign currency fund on behalf of Glitnir which bought valueless stock from investment company Saga Capital at more than ISK 1 billion (USD 8.8 million, EUR 6.5 million) after the banking collapse, visir.is reports.

It is believed that the agreement on the purchase was falsified to make it look as if it had been made before the banking collapse.

Neither Jóhannesson nor any of his six business partners facing charges were interrogated yesterday. According to Fréttabladid’s sources, the employees of the Special Prosecutor’s office will prepare the case more carefully before calling them in for questioning.

However, ten other people were interrogated, mainly executives from Glitnir and Saga Capital. Among them were Thorvaldur Lúdvík Sigurjónsson, CEO of the Saga Investment Bank, and Gudný Sigurdardóttir from Glitnir’s loan division.

Glitnir’s former director of business, Bjarni Jóhannesson, was arrested, among others, early yesterday morning as part of the investigation. However, according to mbl.is, everyone was released after questioning.

Former CEO of Glitnir Lárus Welding is allegedly flying to Iceland from London tomorrow to be questioned. His home in Reykjavík was among the places searched yesterday.

Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson’s office at 101 Hotel was searched, as was the office of Pálmi Haraldsson in Reykjavík and the offices of Saga Investment Bank, both in Akureyri and Reykjavík. The police in Hvolsvöllur also searched one location because of the investigation.

In reaction to the raids, Jóhannesson told Fréttabladid that neither he nor his wife Ingibjörg Pálmadóttir have been called in for questioning and Saga Investment Bank released a statement saying the investigation is not related to the bank—the bank has cooperated with the Special Prosecutor from the start.

Click here to read more about other cases involving Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson.

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