Britain aims to get paid, y’all.
Today, 9 March 2011, the Serious Fraud Office together with the City of London Police and with the assistance of Icelandic investigators mounted extensive search and arrest operations in London and Reykjavik.
The operations relate to the SFO’s ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the Kaupthing banking Group.
In the UK
In London two business properties and eight residential addresses were searched. During the course of the London operation seven men were arrested and taken to Police Stations in Central London for interview. The arrested suspects’ ages ranged from 42 to 54.
Investigators from the Icelandic Special Prosecutor’s Office are in the UK at this time though are not engaged on the search.
The London operation involved 135 Police Officers and SFO Investigators.
In Reykjavik, coordinated with the London searches, two residential properties were searched and two males aged 42 and 43 and were arrested and interviewed. This operation was undertaken at the request of the SFO and is being effected by the Special Prosecutor’s Office, with SFO investigators in attendance.
Amongst the nine arrested in the international operation were the London-based Tchenguiz brothers, Robert and Vincent. Robert Tchenguiz was Kaupthing’s single largest client and a board member of the banks largest shareholder, Exista.
The Kaupthing bank failure has resulted in claims exceeding five times Iceland’s GDP. The UK has already paid out about $4 billion to account holders left stranded by the collapse.
The Tchenguiz brothers have filed their own billion dollar lawsuit against Kaupthing alleging that they were “duped” about the state of the bank’s finances when they entered into certain loan and collateral agreements.
Just two unassuming babes in the woods, those Tchenguiz boys.