RÚV is reporting that nine suspects have been arrested by order of special prosecutor Ólafur Hauksson (above) in connection with the bank Glitnir (now Íslandsbanki), and that the offices of tycoon Jón Ásgeir Jóhanneson at 101 Hótel were among those raided.
Also raided were the offices of Pálmi Haraldsson (formerly head of the company Fons, which at one point owned 25% of what was then Jón Ásgeir’s 365 media company) and the home of Lárus Welding, the former chairman of Glitnir.
Sources close to RÚV also report that among those in questioning is Lúðvík Sigurjónsson, chairman of Saga investment bank.
The arrests paint a complicated picture of connected investments and overlapping interests between numerous companies in what may have been the largest market manipulation scheme in Icelandic history. It reaches out to lenders to the company Stím, which had financial connections through stocks with Glitnir and FL Group; lenders to the company FS-38 who bought shares of Aurum Holding Ltd from Fons; lenders to the companies Stoð, Baugur and 101 Capital in connection with the purchase of Danish real estate company Keops; the purchase of an institutional fund that Glitnir owned; shares in Saga Capital that Stím gave out and Glitnir’s purchase of shares in the Icelandic insurance company Tryggingamiðstöðin.
The charges against the accused include breaking investment law, violation of stocks trading law, violation of investment company law, and breaking accounting law. A statement from the special prosecutor emphasizes that the matter connects to numerous people who broke the law on many occasions.
Saga investment bank issued a statement that the investigation is not being aimed at them specifically, but that authorities did come to their offices looking for documents connected to other companies and individuals.
All told, 16 separate searches were made, with a staff of 70 conducting the searches and arrests. Questioning of the suspects is still ongoing.