French scrutinise Ronaldinho's Swiss account

16th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 16 (AFP) - French fraud squad detectives are investigating how television channel Canal Plus put EUR 15 million into the Swiss bank account of Brazil star Ronaldinho.

PARIS, March 16 (AFP) - French fraud squad detectives are investigating how television channel Canal Plus put EUR 15 million into the Swiss bank account of Brazil star Ronaldinho.

Ronaldinho, sold to Spanish side Barcelona for EUR 30 million two years ago, was paid the money after joining Paris St Germain, owned by Canal Plus, in 1999.

Police sources said Wednesday the money was paid through a Canal Plus marketing subsidiary for the player's image rights.

Police again interviewed agents in France on Wednesday as part of investigations into transfers involving Paris St Germain and Olympique Marseille.

They are investigating allegations of tax evasion through transfers of money between France, Monaco and Switzerland.

The offices of the French football federation, the league and five major clubs were raided last month amid allegations of irregularities involving advertising and television rights deals.

Lens, Girondins de Bordeaux and champions Olympique Lyon were the other clubs being investigated.

The five clubs were members of the now-disbanded Club Europe, launched by television channel Canal Plus in 2001.

It paid EUR 250 million to the five clubs to obtain their broadcasting rights.

But the payments stopped and Club Europe was dismantled after protests by Canal Plus shareholders.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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