Police investigate €228M Benfica, FC Porto, Sporting deals
According to DCIAP, of the six investigations involving Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting, two are "related to each of the clubs", and there are already about 120 defendants in these investigations.
Deals involving Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting that are under investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office exceed €228 million, the Attorney General’s Office revealed on Monday, which clarified that six investigations are underway.
The note published on the page of the Central Department of Investigation and Prosecution (DCIAP) follows the actions of last Wednesday, in which more than 60 searches were made that targeted the facilities of the three ‘big’, in addition to law and accounting offices and several residences.
According to DCIAP, of the six investigations involving Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting, two are “related to each of the clubs”, and there are already about 120 defendants in these investigations.
“It is not possible, at this time, to inform the overall value of the businesses under investigation, but it will certainly be much higher than €228 million,” said the DCIAP note, which also said there are two other “investigations for similar facts relating to other clubs, but with much smaller amounts”.
These investigations are, according to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, linked to Operation ‘Offside’, which recalled in the note published today the searches that were carried out in March 2020.
At stake in the investigations that led to the operation undertaken last week are “suspected crimes of qualified tax fraud, fraud against social security and money laundering, linked to the conclusion or renewal of sports labour contracts, payment of commissions and financial circuits involving intermediaries in these businesses, as well as the use of image rights”.
The diligences focus on facts that took place between 2014 and 2022, on which “there are indications of illegitimate patrimonial advantages, tax and against social security” set at “more than €58 million”, and the sports companies s of Benfica and Sporting have confirmed they have been charged in the process, while FC Porto has not spoken.
Under the direction of DCIAP, the investigation – which is under the secrecy of justice – also involves the Large Taxpayers Unit and the Directorate of Fraud Investigation Services and Special Actions of the Tax Authority (AT), as well as the Tax Action Unit of the GNR.