Super-agent Jorge Mendes' headquarters have been raided by Portuguese police as part of an investigation into tax evasion and money laundering at top-flight clubs.
Portugal's Public Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that over 20 searches had taken place on the premises of Sports Limited Companies and law firms, which reportedly included Primeira Liga sides Braga and Vitoria de Guimaraes.
CNN Portugal claim the Porto office of Mendes' Gestifute player agency was also searched, as were the homes and offices of former Portugal midfielder Deco – who now works as an agent.
Operation Fora de Jogo, which is being led by judge Carlos Alexandre, is believed to have included a search on businessman Bruno Macedo too.
The Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP) said in a statement: “The facts under investigation are likely to include crimes of tax fraud, social security fraud and money laundering.
“There is suspicion of simulated business, entered into between football clubs and third parties, which had in view the concealment of income from dependent work, subject to declaration and withholding tax.”
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Mendes is one of the most powerful agents in world football, with Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo his top client.
The Portuguese's Gestifute agency also represents Manchester City stars Bernardo Silva, Ederson and Joao Cancelo, Liverpool duo Fabinho and Diogo Jota and Roma boss Jose Mourinho.
Mendes has a number of Wolves players on his books and also acts as an adviser to the club and its owner, the Chinese conglomerate Fosun.
His Gestifute offices were also raided as part of Operation Fora de Jogo back in March 2020, when almost 300 tax and police inspectors conducted a total of 76 searches in the first stage of the investigation.
Authorities were reportedly looking into potential money laundering involved in the transfers of Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Iker Casillas, having been alerted by information from Football Leaks.
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While Porto denied anyone at the club had been questioned, Portuguese magazine Sabado claimed the homes of Casillas, Jackson Martinez, Maxi Pereira and Danilo Pereira were searched.
Mendes has represented Ronaldo for the majority of his glittering career, earning him lucrative moves to United, Real Madrid and Juventus over the years.
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