Police across Europe swoop on Belgian agents in Mitrovic transfer fraud probe

By Samindra Kunti

September 12 – Player agent Christophe Henrotay (pictured) and his brother-in-law and business associate Christophe Cheniaux have been detained by police over alleged transfer fraud. Former Anderlecht manager Herman Van Holsbeek was also held in custody on Wednesday.

Henrotay, son of former Standard Liege director Roger Henrotay, was held in Monaco. Henrotay is one of Belgium’s leading agents whose clients include Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Yannick Carrasco  and Kevin Mirallas. He was formerly agent for Youri Tielemans, Romelu Lukaku,  Leander Dendoncker  and Michy Batshuayi.

His associate Cheniaux was arrested in Liege in Belgium. Van Holsbeek became the latest person to be held. They were detained during raids on Tuesday and Wednesday in searches into allegations of money laundering, bribery, criminal conspiracy and forgery. In Monaco, bank accounts holding €7 million were frozen, while  three luxury vehicles and two apartments, as well as a boat, were also seized.

Prosecutors said the arrests stem from an ongoing inquiry into the €18 million transfer of striker Aleksandar Mitrovic from Anderlecht to Newcastle in 2015. The Metropolitan police also conducted a search in London to assist the Belgian investigation.

“As soon as we can make contact (with Henrotay), we will certainly ask him for an explanation,” chairman of the Belgian ­Federation of Football Agents Jesse De Preter told local media. “But until the contrary is proven, the presumption of innocence also applies to him. This just indicates that our organisation is needed. The BFFA is just about the only body that works for strong legislation/regulations to tackle the abuses. But for that we need more support from the legislator, the judiciary and the Pro League. ”

In April, Anderlecht premises were searched. No-one was detained at the time.

Van Holsbeeck has previously been questioned in a wider corruption scandal engulfing the Belgian game with agents Mogi Bayat and Dejan Veljkovic implicated in allegations of match fixing and financial fraud. Van Holsbeeck was not charged with any offence.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1709389585labto1709389585ofdlr1709389585owedi1709389585sni@o1709389585fni1709389585