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Spanish police arrest former Barcelona FC president in graft probe
May 23, 2017 / 7:55 AM / 7 months ago

Spanish police arrest former Barcelona FC president in graft probe

MADRID (Reuters) - Former Barcelona football club president Sandro Rosell was arrested on Tuesday as part of an investigation into money laundering, a Spanish police spokesman said.

Spanish Civil Guards carry evidence from an apartment of former FC Barcelona's football club president Sandro Rosell in a money laundering operation, in Barcelona, Spain, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Five people were arrested in total, according to a police statement, which said the probe was centred on audiovisual rights sales linked to Brazil’s national football team.

Sporting events organisers were also among those arrested after a series of raids on homes in the northern Spanish region of Catalonia and in neighbouring Andorra, police said.

They added that authorities were gathering evidence of bribes being paid to people who illegally arranged the rights sales and that they were also investigating allegations that the profits of the scheme were later laundered.

Rosell’s lawyers were not available for comment.

Rosell resigned as president of Barcelona in 2014 after Spain’s High Court began investigating irregularities in the way the club signed Brazilian player Neymar. He had denied any wrongdoing in that case, which is set to go to trial.

Reporting by Raquel Castillo; Writing by Paul Day and Sarah White; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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