Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell was on Tuesday arrested as part of a money laundering investigation.
According to reports in Spanish media, Rosell was picked up in the course of a money laundering investigation related to buying television rights for past matches of Brazil’s national team.
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.
These funds were laundered through “fictitious companies established in tax havens” during his work with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) prior to becoming Barca president in 2010.
ESPN reports that three other people have been detained in the probe, but their identities were not immediately released by authorities.
Based on information from the FBI following the U.S. case against high-level FIFA officials in 2015, police reportedly raided offices, homes, and businesses in Barcelona and other parts of Spain as part of “Operation Rimet,” referencing former Fifa president Jules Rimet.
Rosell is also standing trial in relation to Neymar’s €57 million transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.
He was forced to resign after club member Jordi Cases claimed that the amount paid was more than the fee officially disclosed.
Spanish prosecutors want to hand Rosell a five-year jail sentence on charges of corruption in business and fraud.