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Spain: more than EUR 10 mln from ghost football player transfers laundered

Wednesday 26 February 2020 10:26 CET | News

Since 2018, the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) has been investigating two football agents linked to one of the most relevant player representation agencies in Europe.

They are suspected of money laundering and tax evasion. The operation, supported by Europol and in cooperation with the Spanish Tax Agency, led to five prosecutions. The investigation uncovered that the prominent football agents were organising fictitious transfers of football players through a Cypriot football club to launder a large amount of money and evade taxes.

After the ghost transfers were made, the suspects were using a very sophisticated network of companies to acquire assets, while hiding their ownership. At least EUR 10 million was put back into Spain through the purchasing of luxury assets including real estate and yachts.

A Maltese ‘gatekeeper’ tax adviser company was helping the agents and their criminal network in setting up the corporate veils to conceal the money flow and true owners of the assets. The investigation uncovered that the football agents were part of a criminal network which manages football clubs in several countries, among which are Belgium, Cyprus, and Serbia, according to Europol.

Europol facilitated the information exchange and coordinated the operational activities between involved national authorities.

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Keywords: Spanish Civil Guard, Guardia Civil, money laundering, tax evasion, Europol, Spain, football
Categories: Securing Transactions | Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud
Countries: Spain
This article is part of category

Securing Transactions