Former Barcelona President Sandro Rosell Arrested in Money Laundering Probe

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2017

MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 22:  Former FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell leaves by taxi the Spain's High Court on July 22, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. Former FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell declares at Spain's High Court after being impeached by judge Pablo Ruz in his investigation of the Catalan clubs' signing of Brazilian player Neymar Da Silva in June 2013. Rosell is suspected in being involved in hiding the full cost of Neymar's transfer fee from Brazilian club Santos and thereby avoiding an estimated 9.1 million euros in tax.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell was arrested on Tuesday in connection with a money laundering investigation.

Per El Mundo (h/t Marca), Spain's National Court ordered the probe, and a joint task force, comprised of the civil guard and police, arrested him after the investigation indicated he "collected irregular commissions, obtained through the sale of the image rights of the Brazilian football team."

The money collected was then allegedly laundered through "fictitious companies established in tax havens." Rosell worked with the Brazilian Football Confederation prior to becoming Barca president in 2010.

The 53-year-old used his company, Ailanto Marketing, to organise friendlies for the Brazilian national side and allegedly charged "irregular" commissions for doing so.

Rosell is set to stand trial in relation to Neymar's transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.

Ricardo Teixeira, former president of the CBF between 1989 and 2012, along with other former Brazilian directors of football, have also been implicated in the investigation.

In 2012, Teixeira was, along with former FIFA president Joao Havelange, found to have accepted £28 million in payments from marketing company ISL, who previously broadcast the World Cup on TV.

Per El Mundo (h/t Marca) prosecutors want to hand Rosell a five-year jail sentence on charges of corruption in business and fraud.

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