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FIFA probe First Swiss conviction in football corruption case

The FIFA logo outside the FIFA Headquarter in Zurich

(Keystone)

A former Swiss bank employee has been convicted for document forgery and failure to report suspected money laundering, the first sentence in a Swiss criminal probe into FIFA, world football’s Zurich-based governing body.

“The payments unlawfully obtained by the bank employee as a result of these offences, which amounted to $650,000 [CHF633,000], will be forfeited to the Swiss general treasury,” Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said in a statementexternal link on Friday.

Around two years after opening the investigations in the football cases, this conviction marks the conclusion of criminal proceedings in Switzerland, the statement continued. It added that the proceedings were coordinated to end at the same time as those occurring in the United States.

“The OAG appreciates the efficient coordination with the US authorities,” it said.

The man was not named in the OAG statement. A source quoted by Reuters said the person was Jorge Arzuaga, a former employee at two large Swiss banks.

Arzuaga, 56, of Argentina, pleaded guilty on Thursdayexternal link to a US money-laundering conspiracy charge in connection with a probe into corruption in world football.

To date, the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerlandexternal link (MROS) has received 178 reports of suspected money-laundering transactions in connection with the football investigation, the OAG said. It is conducting around 25 separate investigations in football-related cases and is in the process of analysing seized documents.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ilj

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