Portuguese government to investigate transfers of 12 FC Porto players

Thiago Silva and former Manchester United midfielder Anderson are among the deals under investigation

Porto, FC Porto, investigation,

Image: Adam Davy / EMPICS Sport

Portugal's FC Porto have found themselves caught up in an investigation for tax fraud and money laundering. 

The Central Department of Investigaion and Penal Action (Departamento Central de Investigação e Acção Penal or DCIAP) in Portugal is looking into the affairs of FC Porto and, in particular, the contracts of 12 players who were sold by the club in recent years.

The deals have come to the attention of the Public Ministry (Ministério Público), the Portuguese public prosecutor which represents the State before the courts, as a result of their connection to offshore bodies.

According to the Correio de Manhã, who were the first to break the story in Portugal, the documents that the DCIAP have gained access to include some familiar names: Thiago Silva (who played for Porto B back in 2004), Anderson (who moved to Manchester United in 2007) and Benny McCarthy, among a number of others.

Portuguese news outlet Observador notes that one of the documents also concerns a deal done between Porto and football super-agent Jorge Mendes' Gestifute business. 

In a report dating from 2008, attorney and expert in criminal finance Jorge Rosário Teixeira noted that the documents raised suspicion over the nature of the deals done, in particular that there were crimes of "tax fraud, embezzlement and laundering money of illegal origin."