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Politics

Al Jazeera Says Cypriot Minister Aided Criminal, UK Soccer Corruption

NICOSIA — The new site Al Jazeera, which used a sting to reveal so much corruption in the awarding of residency permits to criminals among foreign investors on Cyprus the program was shut down, said a minister was involved in money laundering among British soccer teams.

In a documentary, the site said that the minister – who wasn't named –  flew to London to arrange paperwork at a consular office for a Russian national who was wanted by Interpol and unable to travel under his real name.

A video documentary entitled The Men Who Sell Football said there were apparent middlemen for foreigners wanting to buy into British soccer teams and use them to launder money through offshore units.

The report said undercover reporters were told how money sources could be hidden in the offshore trusts to get around British laws to filter dirty funds from criminal activities.

Posing as agents for a fictitious wealthy Chinese national with a criminal background,  reporters contacted a middleman who helped them get to the brink of a deal to buy one of England’s oldest football clubs, said Kathimerini Cyprus.

The report said that the minister went to London to help a Russian criminal who fled Russia was stuck in the United Kingdom and couldn't travel under his real name because of an Interpol Red Notice that he was wanted.

“The minister flew here to the consulate in St. James’ Square and managed to do the whole process there without him stepping foot in Cyprus,” a person caught on hidden camera said.

The same person also suggested the fictitious Chinese businessman could expect a “fairly simple” process in Cyprus, while also alleging that the Cypriot minister would facilitate help.

In a 2020 video, undercover reporters on Cyprus secretly recorded prominent figures on the island, including politicians, who appeared willing to assist the fictitious investor and boasted of their government connections in the scheme.

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