Head of Austria's Meinl Bank detained

Head of Austria's Meinl Bank detainedVienna  - Julius Meinl V, the owner of Austrian private bank Meinl Bank AG, was detained on charges of defrauding investors, Austrian media said Thursday.

Meinl, 49, was detained Wednesday evening after being interviewed by prosecutors over irregularities regarding three companies set up by the bank, Format, a weekly business magazine, reported.

"Julius Meinl was detained because of the danger of flight" Gerhard Jarosch, the spokesman of Vienna's prosecution office, was quoted as saying.

Prosecutors suspect Meinl of breach of trust and defrauding investors over fund share certificates of Meinl European Land (MEL), a real-estate portfolio. Meinl, however, maintained that he has never been involved MEL's business decisions.

Meinl Bank released a statement saying the arrest of its owner had "no effect on business operations," the Austrian news agency APA reported. The bank's situation was "stable" and deposits secure, the statement said. (dpa)

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