Football super-agent Fali Ramadani is under investigation in Spain for tax evasion and money laundering, according to reports in the Spanish media.
Ramadani, who represents high profile players like Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibali, Miralem Pjani of Juventus and Madrid’s Luka Jovic is accused of operating ‘ghost transfers’ designed to evade paying taxes.
The Spanish investigation focuses on the purchase in 2017 of two luxury homes on the island of Mallorca. The homes were bought by “two players’ agents linked to one of the representation agencies with the highest turnover in Europe,” said the Ministry of the Interior, which named Fali Ramadani and his partner, Nikola Damjanac, a Serbian goalkeeper, as the agents in question.
The investigation to trace the origin of the money used to purchase the homes led to the discovery of suspected fictitious transfers designed to inflate the value of players and avoid paying taxes.
According to the Spanish press, which quotes sources close to the investigation, the agents used the Cypriot club Apollo Limassol to carry out these “ghost transfers”, which caused “great economic damage” to the clubs and deprived states of rightful tax revenue.
A Europol statement read: “After the ghost transfers were made, the suspects were using a very sophisticated network of companies to acquire assets, while hiding their ownership.
“At least €10 million was put back into Spain through the purchasing of luxury assets including real estate and yachts.
“A Maltese ‘gatekeeper’ tax adviser company was helping the agents and their criminal network in setting up the corporate veils to conceal the money flow and true owners of the assets.”
Ramadani and Damjanac agency, Lian Sports, which is based in Malta, is the third largest football agency in the world, according to Forbes magazine, which estimates the value of the company’s contracts at $777 million earning them earned $78 million in commissions.