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Arsenal Confirm Fraud Investigation over BYD Partnership

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

A picture shows the outside of The Emirates Stadium in north London on September 29, 2015 ahead of kick off of the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Arsenal and Olympiakos. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK        (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Arsenal have confirmed an investigation is being launched into potential fraud involving the club's partnership with Chinese carmaker BYD.

A statement on the Chinese version of the Premier League club's website read:

"BYD has informed Arsenal that they believe they have been the victim of a fraud in relation to various advertising agreements. This includes our partnership with BYD which was formally launched by both parties at an event at Emirates Stadium on 8th May.

"We are investigating the situation and discussing it with senior level BYD representatives who were involved in the launch of the partnership. We will make no further comments on this matter."

In a statement, the electric-car manufacturer said a person, named as Li Juan, is suspected of undertaking business in the name of BYD despite not being an employee, per Tashan Deniran-Alleyne of Football.London:

"Li Juan was suspected of committing a crime due to faking the identity of staff of BYD and using the forged seal to sign contracts, which BYD has reported to the police. The police is getting involved in the investigation and Li Juan currently has been taken for enforcement actions by the police.

"The aforesaid actions of Li Juan harmed the interests of related parties and damaged greatly the reputation of BYD. As the injured party, BYD will, together with all parties, cooperate with the police to investigate and protect its legitimate rights and interests according to the laws."

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According to Bill Wilson of BBC News, BYD also confirmed a woman has been arrested by Shanghai police suspected of contract fraud and faking company seals. 

The Gunners announced their deal with BYD in April, saying it represented "a further step forward in how we work with our partners to build a greener future."

How it impacts on the partnership is not immediately clear, but the allegations have made for an embarrassing situation for both Arsenal and BYD. 

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