December 20, 2016 / 8:44 AM / 8 months ago

French financial prosecutor opens inquiry following 'Football Leaks' articles

PARIS (Reuters) - The French financial prosecutor's office has opened a preliminary inquiry into possible money-laundering and tax fraud as a result of "Football Leaks" articles that accused soccer stars of using tax havens.

The financial prosecutor's office said in a statement on Tuesday that it had opened the inquiry on Dec. 12, and that the probe was in the hands of France's main office dealing with the battle against financial and tax malpractice.

Earlier this month, a group of 12 European news outlets began publishing the results of months of investigations into a vast trove of millions of financial documents, obtained by the German magazine Der Spiegel and dubbed "Football Leaks".

The European Commission will also propose new anti tax-evasion legislation next year following the media reports which accused soccer stars of having used tax havens to handle tens of millions of euros in earnings.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by John Irish

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