News ID: 232582
Published: 0418 GMT October 10, 2018

Belgian authorities raid clubs in fraud, match-fixing investigation

Belgian authorities raid clubs in fraud, match-fixing investigation
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Belgian authorities said 57 police raids are ongoing in Belgium and six other European nations in a vast probe into financial fraud and match-fixing in football.

The federal prosecutor's office in Brussels said 44 raids occurred in Belgium and 13 more in France, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia, AP reported.

Belgian media, including public broadcaster RTBF, said police had conducted searches in the premises of 10 clubs including Anderlecht, Club Brugge and Standard Liege.

A spokesman said that a year-old probe found evidence of "suspect financial operations" by agents and also indications "of possible influencing of games" during the previous season.

Reports suggest that Mogi Bayat, Belgium's best known agent, Brugge coach Ivan Leko and a former Anderlecht coach were among those being questioned.

The investigation centers on "activities relating to a criminal organization, money laundering and private corruption".

"Match-fixing undermines the integrity of sports. The Justice Department is working for a fair sport," Justice Minister Koen Geens said.

The probe comes only three months after Belgium's national team reached the World Cup semifinals.

"Agents, referees, a former lawyer, an accounting office, jewelers, journalists" were among those hit by the raids, authorities said.

The raids took place in just about every region in Belgium. It involved 184 police officials in the country and 36 in the other European nations.

The statement said some football agents, independent from one another, "would have schemed to hide" transfer commissions, payments of players and coaches, and other payments from the Belgian authorities, causing tax losses.

It was during the investigation that indications appeared that there may have been match-fixing during the 2017-18 season.

 

Belgian authorities said 57 police raids are ongoing in Belgium and six other European nations in a vast probe into financial fraud and match-fixing in football.

The federal prosecutor's office in Brussels said 44 raids occurred in Belgium and 13 more in France, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia, AP reported.

Belgian media, including public broadcaster RTBF, said police had conducted searches in the premises of 10 clubs including Anderlecht, Club Brugge and Standard Liege.

A spokesman said that a year-old probe found evidence of "suspect financial operations" by agents and also indications "of possible influencing of games" during the previous season.

Reports suggest that Mogi Bayat, Belgium's best known agent, Brugge coach Ivan Leko and a former Anderlecht coach were among those being questioned.

The investigation centers on "activities relating to a criminal organization, money laundering and private corruption".

"Match-fixing undermines the integrity of sports. The Justice Department is working for a fair sport," Justice Minister Koen Geens said.

The probe comes only three months after Belgium's national team reached the World Cup semifinals.

"Agents, referees, a former lawyer, an accounting office, jewelers, journalists" were among those hit by the raids, authorities said.

The raids took place in just about every region in Belgium. It involved 184 police officials in the country and 36 in the other European nations.

The statement said some football agents, independent from one another, "would have schemed to hide" transfer commissions, payments of players and coaches, and other payments from the Belgian authorities, causing tax losses.

It was during the investigation that indications appeared that there may have been match-fixing during the 2017-18 season.

 

   
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