Lithuanian Businessman Indicted for Money Laundering, Arms Dealing Exposed by OCCRP

Published: 27 November 2023

Vladimir Stefanov in Court

On Tuesday, Stefanov appeared before the Klapeida's court for the first hearing in the criminal case. It did not take long, since the businessman claimed he hasn’t yet gotten familiar with the indictment. The next hearing is set for December 12th, OCCRP’s Lithuanian member center Siena reports. (Photo: Aurelija Jašinskienė,

By Šarūnas Černiauskas

Vladimir Stefanov, a Lithuanian businessman with ties to the regime of Equatorial Guinea, is being indicted over arms dealing and laundering more than 91 million euros (US$99.55 million). The criminal case against Stefanov was launched after an OCCRP investigation.

In 2016, OCCRP published an investigation about Stefanov’s ties to the Teodoro Obiang regime that has ruled the African country since 1979. The story largely revolves around Glomar Supplies, a Panama company with links to both Stefanov and the Clan Obiang.

After the story broke, Lithuanian law enforcement decided to reopen a previously dropped case against Stefanov and UAB Statega, a major Lithuanian company he owns in the port of Klaipeda.

After seven years of reopening the case, Stefanov and Statega are being handed over to the Lithuanian court. The Lithuanian businessman is officially accused of large-scale money laundering and arms trafficking.

“It is suspected that the Klaipeda man, being an attorney for a Panama-based company and later, its sole shareholder, was being an intermediary in selling military equipment and dual use goods to Equatorial Guinea, without having the proper authorization. Based on the investigation, the businessman aimed to legalize the suspectedly criminal proceedings. The data gathered allows to suspect that the accused (...) might have legalized over 91 million euros between 2008 and 2012”, - a press release issued on Monday by the Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service states.

According to theFCIS, Stefanov is charged with both money laundering and illegal arms dealing. Over 9.3 million euros ($10.17 million) in assets were frozen during the investigation.

A publicly available court ruling indicates Stefanov’s assets are frozen due to his activities related to Intracoastal Trading Services S.A., another Panama company exposed in the OCCRP investigation. The value of arms allegedly moved with Stefanov’s involvement is indicated to be over 114 million euros ($124.72 million).

Stefanov has flatly denied any wrongdoing. When reached by OCCRP for comment, he refused to give any statements.