The British businessman Robert Tchenguiz is considering suing the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) following his arrest in the investigation into the collapse of Iceland’s Kaupthing Bank.
Robert’s brother, Vincent, was also arrested and released; and has seen his credit lines frozen as a direct result, RUV reports.
The UK’s SFO conducted searches last week in London and Reykjavik while investigating loans granted by Kaupthing. Nine people were arrested, including the Tchenguiz brothers and Sigurdur Einarsson, the former chairman of Kaupthing’s board. The SFO was assisted by Iceland’s special prosecutor into the banking crash.
Robert Tchenguiz has now gone to the media saying that his arrest was unnecessary and also illegal, because no judge had granted a search or arrest warrant in the case.
Tchenguiz said he has been trying to find out more details since his release, but has now decided to get a lawyer onto the job and may end up suing.
The brothers’ arrest has generated a lot of attention, as their business empires are large and far-reaching. The day after their arrest, creditors to Vincent at Merryl Lynch and Bank of America called in loans; demanding he pay back EUR 142.5 million right away, plus interest. Vincent managed to meet the banks’ demands with assets; but this put four of his companies into receivership. He said he is positive the two banks’ actions were a direct result of his arrest.