The winding-up committee of the defunct bank Kaupþing returned empty handed after entering the cellar of a storage building on Smiðshöfði in Reykjavík owned by Ingólfur Helgason and Steingrímur P. Kárason, former executives of the bank, on Wednesday.
The headquarters of Kaupþing (now Arion Bank). Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
They had expected to find a wine collection worth more than ISK 200 million (USD 1.6 million, EUR 1.2 million), as indicated by receipts and other evidence, Fréttablaðið reports.
After months of legal disputes, the winding-up committee was finally granted access to the cellar.
The District Commissioner in Reykjavík had agreed to the committee’s demand to freeze the storage building and its contents along with other assets belonging to Ingólfur and Steingrímur in summer 2011 as collateral for claims made because of extensive loans they took to buy shares.
However, the district commissioner did not grant the winding-up committee access to the 240-square-meter storage area. The winding-up committee sued over the decision and last week the Supreme Court ruled that the cellar should be opened.
“Nothing was found, as was already known, and the winding-up committee had already been told that; no hidden treasures, secret funds, wine cellar or anything like that,” commented Steingrímur’s lawyer, Jóhannes Bjarni Björnsson, who was in attendance on his client’s behalf when the winding-up committee entered the cellar.
It only contained furniture belonging to the two former Kaupþing executives, which are not considered to be of significant value, and a 2004 model broken car which the winding-up committee had already seized.