SPORTS LAW AT THE CROSSROADS

Belgian police seek access to whistleblower Pinto’s docs for match-fixing probe

January 30 – Belgian authorities are seeking access to documents relating to alleged corruption acquired by Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto who is under arrest in Hungary.

Late last year Belgian football was rocked by a wide-ranging investigation into financial fraud and match-fixing and according to Belgium’s media it was the findings of the Football Leaks’ website, for whom Pinto has been operating, which led to a series of searches centred on Royal Excel Mouscron.

The Football Leaks files, published by a consortium of European media, have revealed tax evasion, suspected fraud and corruption involving various players, entrepreneurs and club leaders.

Pinto was detained on January 16  under an arrest warrant issued by Portuguese authorities.

Belgian media said Pini Zahavi, the so-called super agent who brokered the transfer Neymar to Paris St Germain, is a particular target of Belgian justice. Zahavi is reportedly suspected of illegally controlling Mouscron.

Containing millions of documents, the ‘Football Leaks’ revelations were posted in two tranches, the first at the end of 2016 and the second in November 2018 causing widespread consternation throughout the game.

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