Ronaldo' agents held on money laundering charges

RIO DE JANEIRO: Two Brazilian business representatives of Ronaldo have been linked to an alleged extortion of US$33 million deposited in Swiss bank accounts, Brazilian newspapers reported on Tuesday. 

Alexandre Martins and Reinaldo Pitta were arrested and jailed on Monday on suspicion of money laundering and accounting fraud in connection with the case involving eight Brazilian federal and state tax inspectors. 

Martins, Ronaldo's agent, and Pitta were among the lead dealmakers for Ronaldo during last year's lengthy round of negotiations that moved the striker to Real Madrid from Italy's Inter Milan for US$44 million. 

A lawyer for Martins and Pitta denied accusations they helped transfer the money to Switzerland for the tax inspectors. 

Rio police had no immediate comment. Efforts to reach Ronaldo on Tuesday were unsuccessful. Real Madrid officials declined to take a message for him seeking comment. – AP  

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