Uefa offices raided over ‘Panama Papers’ link

Swiss police raided the headquarters of the European football body Uefa in Nyon to gather information about a contract reportedly signed by former Uefa official Gianni Infantino, now head of global football body Fifa.

“Uefa can confirm that today we received a visit from the office of the Swiss Federal Police acting under a warrant and requesting sight of the contracts between Uefa and Cross Trading/Teleamazonas.

“Naturally, Uefa is providing the federal police with all relevant documents in our possession and will co-operate fully,” it said.

Reports from multiple news organisations, citing leaked documents, had said Infantino signed off on a contract with two Argentine businessmen who owned Cross Trading and were later indicted in the US. 

Infantino said on Tuesday he was “dismayed that his integrity was being doubted” in media reports about the contract.

Meanwhile, British prime minister David Cameron, his wife, and their children will not benefit in future from any offshore funds or trusts, a spokesman said as Mr Cameron faced more questions over family tax affairs.

His late father, Ian, was among the tens of thousands of people named in leaked documents from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca which showed how the world’s rich and powerful are able to stash their wealth and avoid taxes.

After having at first described it as a private matter, Cameron’s office said that he and his family did not benefit from any such funds at present. Cameron also said he did not own any shares or have any offshore funds.

But his failure to say whether he or his family would benefit in future only intensified media speculation.

“There are no offshore funds or trusts which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future,” a spokesman for Mr Cameron said yesterday.

The president of Ukraine last night became the latest prominent politician to deny wrongdoing after his name was linked to secretive offshore accounts arranged by a Panama law firm.

The revelations have raised suspicion that such offshore entities were set up to avoid taxes, but Petro Poroshenko denied that was the purpose in his case. Rather, he said, it was necessary to create an offshore holding company to put his sweet business in a blind trust when he became president of Ukraine in 2014.

“This is absolutely normal procedure, and I think this is the main difference from the naming of all the political figures in this Panama list,” Mr Poroshenko said in Tokyo, where he was meeting with Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe and business leaders.

“If we have anything to be investigated, I am happy to do that,” he said. “But, this is absolutely transparent from the very beginning. No hidden account, no associated management, no nothing.” Iceland’s prime minister became the first casualty of the affair on Tuesday, stepping down two days after a video was aired showing him breaking off a television interview over questions about his family’s offshore dealings.

Elsewhere, Spanish media was reporting that movie director Pedro Almodovar has cancelled publicity events for his new movie Julieta following intense interest in the offshore company he owned with his brother years ago.

Almodovar cancelled an appearance at interviews ahead of the movie’s premiere in Madrid last night.


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