International

Football fraud raids in Belgium, Monaco, London: prosecutors

2019-09-11 10:46
Romelu Lukaku (Getty Images)

Brussels - Police investigating suspected fraud linked to the transfer of Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to Newcastle United have raided properties in Belgium, Monaco and London, arresting two people including an agent, officials said Wednesday.

The probe, which earlier this year saw the Belgian FA headquarters searched, is looking into suspected money-laundering related to transfers including Mitrovic's €18.5 million move from Anderlecht to St James' Park in 2015.

Under the direction of a Belgian anti-corruption judge, police and tax officials swooped on Tuesday and Wednesday, detaining an agent in Monaco and his assistant in the Belgian city of Liege.

"The facts involve notably money-laundering operations and private corruption in the context of football player transfers," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The inquiry is separate from Belgium's so-called "footballgate" scandal, which has resulted in 20 suspects being charged since October 2018, including agents, referees and club officials, in a vast investigation into fraud and match-fixing.

Mitrovic, whose committed, physical style of play won him something of a cult following among Newcastle fans, spent three seasons at the club before moving to Fulham in 2018.

His transfer from Anderlecht - Belgium's most successful club - involved the agents Pini Zahavi and Fali Ramadani, the Derniere Heure newspaper reported at the time of the initial raids in April.

Prosecutors have not publicly named anyone connected with the probe, but a judicial source confirmed to AFP in April that the Mitrovic transfer was part of the investigation.

The earlier raids saw officers search the Anderlecht training centre as well as the Belgian FA headquarters and the offices of One Goal Management company which specialises in transfers.

The criminal probe adds to Anderlecht's woes on the pitch, where the 34-time Belgian champions are languishing a lowly 13th in the league with just a single win in their first six games this season.

Read more on:    uefa  |  aleksandar mitrovic  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.