Portugal raids soccer clubs, agents in tax investigation

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese authorities conducted extensive raids Wednesday as part of an investigation into suspected tax evasion in soccer transfers.

Former Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas said his house was among those raided by authorities.

Casillas, who joined Portuguese club Porto after leaving Real Madrid, is now running for the presidency of the Spanish soccer federation.

He said on Twitter that “transparency is one of my principles” and that he will fully cooperate with authorities. He said he was “not concerned” and had “total trust” in the Portuguese judicial system.

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The attorney general’s office said in a statement 76 searches were carried out.

The targets were the premises of soccer clubs, agents and lawyers. More than 180 police officers, 101 tax inspectors and 16 magistrates took part in the operation.

The investigation covers transfers and other deals since 2015, the statement said. Authorities are looking into whether tax evasion and money laundering occurred.

The statement provided no further details, citing Portugal’s judicial secrecy law that prohibits the publication of information about ongoing investigations.

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