Police investigating alleged fraud in connection to the transfer of Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to Newcastle United have reportedly raided properties in Belgium, Monaco and London. Following the raiding, police arrested two persons including an agent.
The probe, which earlier this year saw the Belgian FA headquarters searched, is investigating suspected money-laundering related to transfers including Mitrovic’s 18.5 million euro (13 million pound) move from Anderlecht to St James’ Park in 2015.
By the direction of a Belgian anti-corruption judge, police and the tax authorities swooped on Tuesday and Wednesday, detaining an agent and his assistant in Monaco, 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.
This is no the Belgium’s so-called “footballgate” scandal, which has resulted in 20 suspects being arrested and charged since October 2018, including agents, referees and club officials, in a wide range investigation into fraud and match-fixing.
Mitrovic 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.
SportRazzi gathered that prosecutors are yet to publicly name anyone connected with the probe, but a judicial source said in April that the Mitrovic transfer was part of the investigation that was going on.
The raiding that was carried out earlier has authorities search the Anderlecht training center as well as the Belgian FA headquarters and the offices of One Goal Management company which are specialists in transfers business.
The criminal scandal 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 whole season.