Jose Mourinho’s former side Uniao de Leiria have been among the clubs in Portugal raided by police as part of an operation to dismantle a Russian mafia gang laundering money.
Europol confirmed that three key members of a criminal network have been arrested as part of Operation Matrioskas (Russian dolls).
The organisation is alleged to have laundered several million euros across numerous European countries after initially targeting football teams with financial difficulties.
The group would then purchase the clubs so that they can be used to launder money via player transfers, deals for television rights and betting.
Uniao de Leiria, who were managed by Mourinho for 20 matches before his move to Porto in January 2002, were declared bankrupt in 2013 but were purchased by Alexander Tolstikov in 2015.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
Sporting, Braga and Benfica were also searched by police but are only linked to the investigation because of their transfer deals with UD Leiria and are not believed to be under suspicion.
Europol also confirmed that the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom.