Brussels (AFP)

Seven searches were carried out in Belgium, London and Monaco, and two people were arrested, including a player agent in the Principality, in a case of corruption in football educated in Brussels, announced Wednesday the Belgian Federal Prosecutor.

The investigation, which initially targeted the transfer in 2015 of Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic from Anderlecht (Belgium) to Newcastle (England), had already resulted in a series of raids on April 24 in Belgium, but there was no had no arrest.

The new stage of the investigation this time targets player agent Christophe Henrotay, suspected of having perceived "fraudulent retrocommissions" in the context of another transfer, and who was arrested in Monaco, explained to the AFP a source close to the survey.

He is one of two people arrested during the new round of searches carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For its part, the federal prosecutor's office did not reveal any name, simply evoking the arrests of "a players' agent in Monaco" and "his assistant, in the Liège region" (eastern Belgium).

"This second round of searches is the result of the first operation, carried out last April at the headquarters of the RSC Anderlecht football club and the Belgian Football Union," the prosecutor said in a statement.

"The facts include money laundering and private bribery in the context of transfers of football players," he said.

There were seven searches on Tuesday and Wednesday, said the prosecutor's office: "four in the Principality of Monaco, two in Belgium and one in London".

They were conducted under the direction of a Brussels investigating judge by the Central Organ of Corruption (OCRC), in collaboration with the Federal Judicial Police of Liège, the Monegasque police, the Metropolitan Police and the HM Revenue & Customs of Great Britain.

On April 24, five searches were carried out, including three in the Brussels municipality of Anderlecht, aiming in particular at the stadium and the training center of the most successful club in Belgium. Another had targeted the headquarters of the Belgian Football Union (the National Federation, ed) in Laeken.

This investigation is distinct from that of the "footballgate", a vast file of fraud instructed in Belgium in which about twenty people (agents, referees, leaders etc) have been charged since October 2018.

© 2019 AFP