Ronaldo accused of hiding money in tax havens

cricketBerlin, (IANS) Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo could become embroiled in legal problems after information emerrged that he may have avoided paying millions of dollars in taxes by funnelling income to a company in the Caribbean.

Efe quoted German newsweekly Der Spiegel as saying on its website on Friday that Germany international Mesut Özil, a former Real Madrid star who now plays for Arsenal, and ex-Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho — currently with Manchester United — may also be implicated in the scheme.

The information emerged from a leak of nearly 19 million documents that found their way to the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), a consortium of media outfits that includes Der Spiegel, Spain’s El Mundo, The Sunday Times of Britain and France-based Mediapart.

Ronaldo, who led Portugal to victory in the Euro 2016 football tournament after helping Real Madrid win their record 11th Champions League trophy, used a company in the British Virgin Island to conceal 75 million euros ($80 million) in income from endorsements, Der Spiegel said.

The EIC report says the tax evasion mechanism was developed by Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes.

Gestifute, Mendes’ company, said in a response to the EIC allegations that Ronaldo and Mourinho had “fully respected their obligations vis-a-vis the Spanish and British authorities”.

The EIC member institutions say they plan to publish further revelations of wrongdoing in soccer over the coming weeks.

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