FIFA reform campaigners are encouraging British authorities to “follow the money” in the corruption scandal and work with U.S. and Swiss authorities.
Deborah Unger of Transparency International appeared in front of a parliamentary select committee inquiry into the FIFA corruption scandal and urged the Serious Fraud Office and other agencies to dig deeper.
“They could use the follow-the-money tools that are already here,” Unger said. “Questions do have to be asked. Has any money been spent in the UK on luxury goods and services, property for example? It is very hard to go after people directly without knowing if the money has come through the UK. But you can start asking the questions.”
The Swiss attorney general, Michael Lauber, has called on other jurisdictions to offer more help looking into the process of awarding the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. According to Lauber, his office has identified 121 suspicious bank transactions, along with seizing data and properties in the Swiss Alps on suspicion of money laundering.
“We are also looking for means to accelerate the procedure; in this context an additional challenge might be seen in the fact some of the information of interest to our criminal proceedings is under seal,” Lauber said. “It would be helpful if parties involved would cooperate more substantially.”
The scandal broke wide open earlier in the year, ending in several arrest and the FIFA president Sepp Blatter announcing his resignation shortly after being re-elected for a fifth term.