Stepukonis, suspected of embezzling millions of euros, was arrested in Lithuania

The European Delegated Prosecutor Darjus Karčinsks, who oversees the pre-trial investigation in this case, had asked the court to order Stepukonis a two-month detention. He admitted that he does not yet see a reason to appeal the court’s decision on a shorter term of detention.

“The pre-trial investigation judge partially satisfied the prosecutor’s request and allowed the suspect to be detained for 14 days, counting from the day of the suspect’s arrest, that is, from February 10, 2024,” said Giedrjus Janonis, the press representative of the Vilnius District Court.

The term of Stepukonis’ detention is counted from Saturday, when he was detained at the office of the Lithuanian Financial Crimes Investigation Service (FNTT) in Vilnius, following an arrest warrant issued at the beginning of February. FNTT representatives did not comment on whether this means that Stepukonis reported himself to the law enforcement authorities.

FNTT claims that after carrying out the necessary procedural steps, the suspect was taken to the Main Police Commissariat of Vilnius region for detention.

The media reported on Monday that Stepukonis was detained on Saturday and questioned by Lithuanian law enforcement officers after he allegedly voluntarily returned to Lithuania from Ukraine.

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) had put Stepukoni on international wanted list.

Two pre-trial investigations against Stepukoni are being carried out under the supervision of the EPPO. In one of them, he is suspected of embezzling at least 27 million euros.

The second pre-trial investigation is about a case in which the investigation was closed in 2022, but recently reopened. It is related to a EUR 3.9 million transfer to Stepukoņis’s account on the Paysera payment platform, which was received from a Polish company for the sale of shares.

The Financial Crimes Investigation Service of Lithuania, which is conducting both investigations, is considering merging them.

It is believed that Stepukonis lost at least part of the embezzled money in gambling.

Lithuanian officials have not yet revealed how much money Stepukonis lost in gambling and whether he still has some of the defrauded money.

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