Former Anderlecht general manager arrested in widening fraud sting

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By Reuters
Former Anderlecht general manager arrested in widening fraud sting

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Anderlecht’s former general manager Herman van Holsbeeck was arrested on Thursday in a widening investigation into fraud, corruption and money laundering during player transfers.

The arrest follows that of a soccer agent Christophe Henrotay, who had been involved in a number of international transfers and counted Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and wingers Yannick Carrasco and Kevin Mirallas among his clients.

Belgian federal prosecutors have requested Henrotay’s extradition after raids this week in Monaco, London and Liege in which two apartments, a boat, three luxury cars and 7 million euros ($7.7 million) were seized.

“The arrest on Thursday morning was linked to the same case,” a spokesman for Belgian federal prosecutors said. A judicial source said Van Holsbeeck was the person detained.

Prosecutors declined to say which transfers were under investigation.

Belgian media have reported that prosecutors are looking into the sale of Serbia striker Aleksander Mitrovic from Anderlecht to Newcastle United in 2015.

Van Holsbeeck was general manager in charge of transfers at Anderlecht from 2003 to April 2018.

The arrests follow raids at Brussels-based Anderlecht, Belgium’s most successful soccer club who are now coached by Vincent Kompany, and at the national football association in April.

Belgian investigators also made arrests last year as part of a broader probe into match-fixing in the domestic league.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Toby Davis)