Pini Zahavi. Photo: as.com
The police raided the office of the club, the homes of its staff, and questioned three leaders of the “Mouscron”.
Yesterday morning the Belgian police came to search in the house of seven employees, “Mouscron”, office of the club, the Royal football Association of Belgium and the court of arbitration for sport in the country. The three club leaders were detained and interrogated.
The reason for the investigation is the validity of the “Mouscron” in obtaining a license to participate in the Belgian championship in the last three years. The people involved in the club, are suspected not only of fraud but also money laundering. The investigation was opened in April 2018. It was then that the police were interested in not only how the club is licensing, but the shadow and his owners, who also conducted transactions through offshore companies.
In recent years, has repeatedly emerged that the club actually owns the influential Israeli agent Pini Zahavi (according to the rules of FIFA and the Belgian football Union is prohibited because of a conflict of interest). However, the “Mouscron” managed each time to prove otherwise. Now police are trying to figure out whether the club forged documents that were provided to the court of arbitration for sport.
According to Football Leaks, the agent had a great influence on the club at the end of 2016. Although officially sold “Mouscron” in January of the same year. This fact helped the club to him to obtain a license for the season 2016/17.
Also, the Belgian Prosecutor’s office intends to find out where the money came Zahavi that he invested in the team in 2015 through its Maltese Limited company Gol. Now “Mouscron” is officially in the hands of a Thai businessman Piroga Piempongsant, a good friend of Zahavi. But to prove the involvement of the agent to the current Affairs of the team is almost impossible. The court also suspects that earlier in the club illegally received millions of euros from offshore companies Zahavi.
The Israelis acquired the Belgian club in 2015. And after six months between “Mouscron” Cypriot “Apollo” has improved quite a strange transfer scheme.
According to Football Leaks, 16 percent of the shares of the club from Limassol was owned Sliva Trading Limited, belonging again Zahavi. At a certain point, “Apollo” has become something of a transit point for the players from Eastern Europe. The Cypriot club has acquired talented players at a very low price, much lower than its Western competitors. And, it happened that after a few days sold at much higher price in rich teams. And the income remained in investors from Cyprus, including Zahavi. By the way, one of the biggest deals – the acquisition of Benfica this is the scheme that striker Luka Jovic. It cost the eagles ‘ 6.58 million euros, 4.6 out of which is received in the “Apollo” in which the Serb has never played.
On paper, Apollo bought the players, but for him they were not, some were not even in Cyprus. When Zahavi purchased “mukron,” four player “Apollo” was in Belgium: the Serbs Marco Pawlowski and Nicola he has been, Romanian Cristian Manea and American Shane O’neill.
It remains to add that the case “Mouscron” is not associated with any other surgery in Belgian football, which investigate illegal activities by agents of the Bayaut Can and Dejan Velikovich. They are suspected of money laundering and the organization of contractual matches, respectively. As for the “Mouscron”, the issue is dealt with by the judge who has conducted a number of other well-known cases related to financial crimes.
Yulia YAKOVLEVA, Sport-Express