Ex-Benfica president arrested for corruption

Money (File)
Money (File)

Lisbon - A former president of Portuguese giants Benfica, Manuel Damasio, was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of influence peddling and money laundering, judicial sources told AFP.

The arrest came as part of an international corruption investigation, with police confirming they had detained "a 75-year-old man, entrepreneur in the property sector".

A source close to the investigation told AFP that the suspect in question was Damasio, the Benfica president between January 1994 and October 1997.

The investigation into "international business corruption, money laundering, influence peddling and tax fraud" was opened in late 2014.

Last month, Jose Veiga, a key figure behind the scenes at Benfica between 2004 and 2006, was charged as part of the investigation along with two lawyers, one of whom is Paulo Santana Lopes, the brother of former Portuguese prime minister Pedro Santana Lopes.

Police said their arrests were related to contracts for "public works, construction and the sale of petroleum products between different private and public entities."

Portuguese press reports linked the enquiry with business dealings involving Veiga, 52, and the Congolese president Denis Sassou Nguesso.

Veiga, who has acted as an agent to several players including former Portugal star Luis Figo, was remanded in custody while Paulo Santana Lopes was placed under house arrest

Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 7849 votes
Cricket
11% - 1973 votes
Football
19% - 3591 votes
Athletics
3% - 464 votes
Boxing
1% - 172 votes
Cycling
2% - 443 votes
Golf
5% - 919 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1554 votes
Tennis
3% - 621 votes
Water sports
1% - 168 votes
American sports
1% - 219 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 573 votes
Vote