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Authorities open inquiry after French 'Football Leaks'

Manchester United Paul Pogba is accused of stashing away money in the Channel Islands.
Manchester United Paul Pogba is accused of stashing away money in the Channel Islands. Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic

French authorities have opened a preliminary inquiry into tax fraud and money laundering in the wake of the 'Football Leaks' revelations, the national financial prosecutor's office announced Tuesday.

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"Football Leaks" is the investigation led by 12 European media organisations aimed at exposing the sport's darker side, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho both accused of tax evasion in recent weeks -- charges the pair deny.

"Following the publication of a series of press articles regarding 'Football Leaks', the national financial prosecutor's office decided to open a preliminary investigation into the charge of laundering of aggravated tax fraud, facts likely to relate to French tax residents," read a statement.

The wide-ranging probe of financial documents also claimed Paris Saint-Germain duo Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore funnelled parts of their income through tax havens.

Meabwile Manchester United and France star Paul Pogba is accused of stashing away money in the Channel Islands, at the request of his agent Mino Raiola.

Last week, Spain's tax office has ordered daily newspaper El Mundo to hand over documents related to its probe into this alleged massive football fraud.

The newspaper said the anti-fraud office was seeking information on 37 people and bodies, including Ronaldo, his agent Jorge Mendes and his management company Gestifute.

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