Football: Swiss justice raid offices of Xamax's Chechen boss
Swiss justice raided the offices of Chechen businessman Bulat Chagaev, the owner of football club Neuchatel Xamax, after claims emerged that he had submitted falsified financial documents, local press reported Tuesday.
Geneva's justice officials were not immediately available for comment on the report by Swiss newspaper Le Temps, but the newspaper quoted Geneva prosecutor Jean-Bernard Schmid saying that "some documents" were taken by officials during the raid.
Chagaev owns four companies in Geneva that deal in commodities trading and property.
Several Swiss media outlets had raised doubts over the authenticity of a Bank of America document that was used by Chagaev to prove his solvency in a bankruptcy claim against him.
On November 2, a Neuchatel court rejected the bankruptcy claim filed by a player's agent over unpaid bills.
According to Radio Suisse Romande and newspaper Le Matin Dimanche, the signature on the Bank of America document certifying that Chagaev held $35 million in the bank is not known to anyone in the financial institution.
In addition, the poor English used on the document, as well as details such as Chagaev's address in French, an unrecognised stamp of the bank and an obsolete address of the bank, all raised doubts about the authenticity of the letter.
Chagaev's ownership of Xamax has been controversial in Switzerland. Earlier this season the Chechen sacked the entire coaching staff after the side lost 2-0 to Basel, prompting players to speak out claiming they feared for their lives.
Most recently, the Swiss Football League fined the club 20,000 francs (16,440 euros) for flouting licencing rules, after they failed to respond to queries over its budget.
League chiefs revealed that another probe was ongoing against the club as it has failed to show proof of social security payments, including pension and unemployment insurances, for August.
The league also warned that a third investigation can be opened if the club does not confirm within the next five days that it has paid September salaries and social security contributions as well as third quarter accident insurances.
© 2011 AFP