Liechtenstein so far finds no suspicious FIFA-related transactions: official

Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:55am EDT
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Anti-money laundering investigators in Liechtenstein are keeping a lookout for suspicious financial transactions which could be related to alleged FIFA corruption but so far have not found any, a senior investigator said.

Daniel Thelesklaf, head of Liechtenstein's Financial Intelligence Unit, told Reuters on Thursday his agency had been monitoring financial transactions for possible FIFA-related irregularities, paralleling the activities of anti-money laundering units in other countries, including neighboring Switzerland.

While his office so has far found no recent suspicious activity, Thelesklaf said, it was "still looking" for possible transactions that could be related to the soccer organization.

On Wednesday, Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber said his office was examining dozens of suspicious transactions and did not rule out interviewing FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Secretary General Jerome Valcke, neither of whom have been accused of wrongdoing.

Switzerland, where FIFA is based, announced its criminal investigation last month on the same day that the United States revealed indictments of nine soccer officials and five businessmen as part of a separate probe into corruption.

A criminal investigation file produced in 2007 by authorities in the Swiss canton of Zug in the wake of the failure of ISL, a marketing firm closely linked to FIFA, identified multiple Liechtenstein entities as vehicles allegedly used by FIFA personalities to conduct suspicious transactions in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

However, the Zug investigation was closed after FIFA withdrew a complaint. A law enforcement source said evidence collected during the Zug investigation was likely to be too out of date to be useful to current FIFA-related investigations.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)