Portuguese police swoop on Benfica’s Vieira in money laundering and tax probe

July 8 – In a move that has rocked Portuguese football, Luis Filipe Vieira, president of Benfica, the country’s biggest club, has been detained as part of an investigation into alleged tax fraud and money laundering and forgery.

Without naming Vieira, the public prosecutors’ office said in a statement that a sports’ executive and three others were detained over deals worth more than €100 million.

Benfica later confirmed Vieira was being held for questioning, adding that although the investigation did not involve the club itself, they were collaborating with relevant authorities.

The prosecutors’ office alleged that the alleged offences stretched back to 2014 and that those arrested would appear before a judge today.

In November, the country’s general prosecutor’s office carried out series of raids, including at the premises of Benfica.

Public broadcaster RTP and other local media said Vieira’s son was also detained along with his business partner.

Benfica is Portugal’s most popular club by membership and Vieira was recently re-elected for another four years. Club officials scheduled an emergency meeting following his detention.

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