News 18th December 2015

Swiss authorities freeze bank accounts

Swiss authorities have frozen a number of bank accounts in relation to requests from US authorities in their ongoing inquiry into allegations of corruption in football involving FIFA. A spokesperson for the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) told assembled media that US authorities has asked for documents related to 50 accounts at different banks, through which money connected to the investigations is alleged to have flowed.

The spokesperson said that a “high double-digit amount” had been frozen, following the request from the US authorities, who have generally timed their investigations to coincide with FIFA’s own corruption investigations. The Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee is currently considering a case against suspended FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and suspended UEFA President Michel Platini, with a verdict expected next week.

On 3 November, the Frankfurt Prosecutor’s Office conducted searches at the offices of the Deutsche Fußball Bund (DFB) connected to the ‘transfer of €6.7 million from the [2006] World Cup organising committee of the DFB to FIFA, which is being investigated for suspected tax evasion’, read a statement. It is understood that it has now asked the FOJ to assist with its inquiries.

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