The Public Ministry of Portugal and police agents today searched the offices of FC Oporto in the framework of the “Red Card” operation to clarify possible tax crimes, Portuguese media reported today. According to the Portuguese magazine “Sábado”, the searches are also being carried out on businessmen Alexandre Pinto da Costa (son of the president of Porto, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa) and Pedro Pinho.
Operation Red Card came to light when the then president of Benfica was arrested in early July, Luís Filipe Vieira, for suspicions of tax fraud and money laundering, among other possible crimes, to clarify possible fraudulent deals of more than 100 million euros.
Days later, on July 15, the Portuguese newspaper “Público” disclosed that the Portuguese Prosecutor’s Office was investigating possible fraud in commissions for the sale of Éder Militão to Real Madrid, which was sold by Porto to the Spanish club.
In the spotlight, according to “Public”, two agents: Bruno Macedo, one of the four Portuguese arrested in Operation “Red Card” that forced the president of Benfica, Luís Filipe Vieira, to resign; and the Brazilian Giuliano Bertolucci.
In August 2018, Porto bought 90% of Militão’s rights from São Paulo for 8.5 million and in March 2019 Real Madrid bought 100% of the rights for 50 million, of which Porto would benefit 38.16 million euros. However, 21% of the amount that Porto entered was for the two intermediaries, according to the same source. In addition, the first purchase operation, when Porto acquired Militão, is also under suspicion, according to the newspaper.
In July, eThe same newspaper revealed that Pedro Pinho, a businessman closely linked to the president of Porto, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, was involved in the Militão operation.
Pinho was also a partner of Alexandre Pinto da Costa, son of the current Porto president, through a company also related to football.