UK prosecutors granted arrest warrants for Euribor Five

Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:37am EDT
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By Kirstin Ridley

LONDON (Reuters) - British prosecutors have been granted warrants for the arrest of four Germans and a Frenchman they want to bring to London to face charges of conspiracy to rig Euribor benchmark interest rates.

The move sets the scene for a high-profile extradition battle at a time when critics are again questioning the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) ability to tackle white collar crime.

James Waddington, a lawyer for the SFO, told Southwark Crown Court on Friday that lawyers for four former Deutsche Bank colleagues; Kai-Uwe Kappauf, Joerg Vogt, Andreas Hauschild and Ardalan Gharagozlou and former Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote) trader Stephane Esper had been informed about the European Arrest Warrants, which were granted by Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Lawyers for Vogt and Hauschild declined to comment. Lawyers for Kappauf and Gharagozlou did not respond to requests for comment. Esper did not respond to a telephone call. Deutsche Bank, which still employs Hauschild, declined to comment. SocGen did not respond to a request for comment.

On Jan. 11 the five declined a requisition request to attend London's Westminster Magistrates' Court to be charged with conspiracy to defraud in relation to their alleged role in manipulating Euribor (euro interbank offered rate).

The SFO had planned to charge 10 men and one woman with a plot to rig Euribor which, like Libor (London interbank offered rate), is a benchmark for rates on trillions of dollars worth of financial products and loans.

In the meantime, its Euribor case continues against six other former bankers who have already been charged.

Defendants include Singapore-based Christian Bittar, a former star Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote) trader who was charged with conspiracy to defraud along with former Barclays (BARC.L: Quote) traders Philippe Moryoussef, Colin Bermingham‎, Sisse Bohart and Carlo Palombo as well as Achim Kraemer, who is still employed by Deutsche.   Continued...

A sign is displayed in an unmarked Serious Fraud Office vehicle parked outside a building, in Mayfair, central London March 9, 2011. REUTERS/Andrew Winning