According to TV-station Stöð 2 Evening News, fourteen months ago, the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police had access to documents from Kaupthing Bank in Luxembourg concerning accounts of Baugur-owned companies on the grounds of suspected money laundering. But no such charges have been filed.
Bank secrecy in is only lifted in case of suspected money laundering or insider trading. According to trusted sources of Stöð 2, neither money laundering nor insider trading are included in the 40 charges brought against Baugur. No further information has been made available except that the charges include alleged serious cases of embezzlement.
The charges will be filed at Reykjavík District Court on August 17 and will not be made public until then. According to experts, it could take up to two years to try the case.
Iceland State Radio, RÚV, reports that according to the British press, the Baugur participation in a bid for UK retailer Sommerfield is now in doubt. The Sunday Times ran a story yesterday that Baugur CEO Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson had offered to withdraw from the consortium he was working with to mitigate concerns that the banks financing the proposed takeover might have about Baugur and the investigation. Baugur Chairman Hreinn Loftsson, rebuts these reports and says Baugur will continue to do business as usual.