Police conducted raids at three companies and two homes in Luxembourg yesterday at the request of the British Serious Fraud Office and the Office of the Special Prosecutor in Iceland as part of their investigation of the defunct Icelandic bank Kaupthing.
Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Almost 70 people participated in the actions which will continue today. Seven employees of the Special Prosecutor and just as many SFO employees are involved, in addition to 55 officers from the Luxembourg police, Fréttabladid reports.
Special Prosecutor Ólafur Thór Hauksson, who is currently in Luxembourg, said not much can be revealed about the investigation while it is ongoing. However, he did state that these actions are extensive.
According to a news story broadcast on Stöd 2 yesterday, the investigation concerns a ISK 28 billion (USD 243 million, EUR 172 million) loan granted by Kaupthing to a company in Tortola the same day the bank was granted an ISK 80 billion (USD 693 million, EUR 492 million) loan from the Central Bank of Iceland to save its operations.
The loan was granted on October 6, 2008, the same day the Icelandic government put the emergency law in place, which marked the beginning of the banking collapse.
An announcement from SFO states that the former headquarters of Kaupthing in Luxembourg, now the headquarters of Banque Havilland, was among the locations raided. It is pointed out that Banque Havilland is not under investigation but Kaupthing’s operations at the location before Banque Havilland moved in.
In addition to the joint investigation with the Special Prosecutor, the SFO is also conducting an independent investigation.
Yesterday’s actions are a follow-up to the SFO’s actions in London and Reykjavík earlier this month when nine persons, including former executives of Kaupthing and British tycoon brothers Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz, were arrested but later released after questioning on Kaupthing’s loan affairs.