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Two members of the Russian Mafia arrested in Portugal

May 8, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Two members of the Russian Mafia arrested in Portugal

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Authorities in Portugal have arrested two suspected members of a Russian mafia group that allegedly infiltrated a Portuguese soccer club as part of an intricate money laundering operation.

Officials said Lisbon’s Criminal Court have detained Alexander Tolstikov, president of Uniao de Leiria, a third division soccer club and his aide Sergiu Renita without bail, the Associated Press reported.

Additionally, Pedro Violante, the club’s financial adviser, was also arrested and subsequently released but is prohibited from leaving Portugal.

Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided the club’s offices, arresting the two suspected key members of a Russian mafia, Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement.

Officials said the suspects laundered millions of dollars through TV rights deals, betting and players transfer deals.

According to CNN, the money laundering operation was so complex, investigators code-named it “Matryoshkas,” after the Russian dolls that nest one inside the other inside the next.

Authorities said Tolstikov faces suspicion of money laundering, corruption, forgery of documents, tax fraud and criminal association charges, according to Antonio Sintra, head of the Leiria Department of Criminal Investigation of the Portuguese Police.

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