Belgian corruption probe sees police swoop on home of Standard Liege chairman Venanzi

By Samindra Kunti

January 29 – Belgian police swooped on the home of Standard Liege chairman Bruno Venanzi (pictured) and carried out searches at the club’s stadium Sclessin on Wednesday morning as part of the investigation into football agent Christophe Henrotay.

Venanzi is suspected of irregularities in a number of transfers that involved Henrotay. Authorities are examining commissions Henrotay received. The Standard Liege president is also suspected of money laundering and tax fraud. Henrotay and Venanzi maintain close relations. The agent is an influential figure at the club.

“My client is still waiting for his extradition from Monaco,” said Henrotay’s lawyer Dimitri de Béco. “He does not know what Mr Venanzi is being accused of, but he confirms that he has not been involved in any form of fraud, including with Mr Venanzi.”

Standard confirmed in a press released that raids had taken place on Wednesday morning ‘by order of a Brussels investigating judge at the club’s facilities and the residence of president Bruno Venanzi in the context of an ongoing investigation into player agent Christophe Henrotay.”

“Through their close cooperation with the judicial authorities, Standard and their president want to help as much as possible with the progress of the investigation. The club hopes there will be clarity very soon.”

Last September, Henrotay and his brother-in-law and business associate Christophe Cheniaux were detained by police over alleged transfer fraud. Henrotay, son of former Standard Liege director Roger Henrotay, was held in Monaco. He is one of Belgium’s leading agents whose clients include Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Yannick Carrasco and Kevin Mirallas. He was formerly the agent of Youri Tielemans, Romelu Lukaku, Leander Dendoncker and Michy Batshuayi.

In Monaco, the police seized €7 million, 3 luxury sports cars and 2 apartments. Henrotay was later released on bail. Belgian authorities have since waited for his extradition from Monaco.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1600967875labto1600967875ofdlr1600967875owedi1600967875sni@o1600967875fni1600967875