A Swedish government-requisitioned investigation into Dutch car manufacturer Spyker and its Russian investors temporarily halted the takeover of the failed Swedish auto maker after the FBI intervened.
According to The Local, a reliable government source informed business newspaper Dagens Industri (DI) that the government had ordered Sapo, the Swedish security service, to investigate Spyker’s major backers the Antonov family. The Swedish National Debt Office launched the assignment which saw private investigators called in to assist with inquiries.
According to the report, the Antonov family was found by Sapo to have connections in both money laundering and organised crime. Sapo subsequently handed over its findings to the FBI, apparently fearing a Russian-controlled Saab-Spyker deal.
Parent company General Motors was immediately ordered to halt the deal by the US government which it did on December 18th.
The chain of events was confirmed by the state secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Hans Lindblad, who claimed that making such information known allowed for a more robust bidding process. Just last week came reports that the Antonovs may have been replaced in the Spyker investment portfolio by Dutchman Marcel Boekhoorn. Lindblad said that the Russian connection has been terminated. “The Antonov family is gone now and have no power position whatsoever in Saab Spyker,” he has been quoted as saying.