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  • Mexico's soccer team plays the United States in New Jersey. Sept. 2019

    Mexico's soccer team plays the United States in New Jersey. Sept. 2019 | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 September 2019

The Treasury Department says several soccer teams and their promoters are under investigation for corruption and tax evasion. 

Several Mexican regional soccer teams are being investigated for alleged money laundering, sources from the Mexican Ministry of Finance confirmed on Wednesday to EFE, without proving the names of the teams linked to the case.

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No athletic clubs have been named directly and Mexico’s highly lucrative and popular soccer teams have remained silent since the announcement Wednesday.

Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Secretary of the Treasury, Santiago Nieto, told reporters that several clubs and athletic promoters are being investigated for money laundering.

“We have evidence that leads us to believe this is happening, but I cannot give more information on the case to protect the secrecy of the investigations,” said Nieto on Sept. 25.

The director said that the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommended that entities "vulnerable to sports clubs and promoters be included within (the investigation) because they are vulnerable subjects to possible money laundering practices.”

The nation’s tax collection agency—SAT (Tax Administration System) is being included in the major investigation because it is “vulnerable … to sports clubs and promoters," said Nieto.

Three weeks ago, the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI), ordered the SAT to reveal the club members of the Mexican Football Federation (Femexfut) that have been benefited, and why, from tax credits between 2007 and 2015.

Local media also highlights that during the trial of Chapo Guzman last year in New York, testimonies revealed that at least two national soccer teams were bought by the narcotrafficking kingpin with laundered money.

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