Financial investigators raid Lithuanian Football Federation offices after accusations of embezzlement

LFF president Julius Kvedaras
DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

The FCIS indicated that searches were also carried out at related private companies, but did not reveal what companies were being investigated.

FCIS director Kęstutis Jucevičius told BNS that the pre-trial investigation for embezzlement at the Lithuanian Football Federation had been going on for a month and that the case involved “millions” of euros. No one has been charged in the investigation yet.

On Thursday morning, Kvedaras told DELFI that he was not at home during the raid. “I’ll come in to find these guests. I’ll need to phone my daughter to ask what’s going on at home,” he said.

An employee of the LFF said FCIS officers spent several hours sorting through documents at the headquarters. “Many officers came in this morning, they presented a court order and did not explain anything else. We only know there’s an investigation into embezzlement. We do not know what they’ll want to take with them,” the unnamed employee told DELFI.

Earlier this week, Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said he would ask the country’s Department of Physical Education and Sports to carry out an investigation into the Lithuanian Football Federation after opposition parties in parliament called to cut off funding for the LFF due to allegations of having been influenced by criminal elements.

Eligijus Masiulis, the leader of the Liberal Movement, said he had proposed taking the measures in response to reports that criminal groups might be fighting to control the Federation’s management.

The LFF issued a statement after the searches, saying: “The federation, as an organization that operates under Lithuanian law and its articles of association, is annually audited by an independent auditor and reports to both public sports and international football authorities. We are ready to cooperate with law enforcement and to provide all necessary documents and information necessary for the investigation. The federation hopes that the FNTT’s actions are not related to the events that have escalated in public over recent days.”

The LFF is scheduled to elect its new president in early 2016.

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