Police search at Barcelona offices lead to arrests

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News coming out of Spain is that former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been arrested following a raid at the club’s offices on Monday.

The ESPN is reporting that Bartomeu together with his adviser Jaume Masferrer, the club’s CEO Oscar Grau and head of legal services Roman Gomez Ponti have all been detained.

Police arrived at Barca’s offices to search for evidence in relation to the Barcagate social media scandal and later made the arrests.

It’s been one year since it was alleged that Barca, under Bartomeu at the time, paid a third-party company to smear former players, current players and presidential candidates on social media.

Barca strongly denied the allegations and rescinded their contract with I3 Ventures, the company behind the social media accounts.

An external audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers later cleared the Catalan club of any wrongdoing and also found that Barca did not pay an inflated price for a number of services with I3, absolving the club of any corruption on a financial level.

However, police continue to look into the case having opened their own investigation last year. They first raided the club’s Camp Nou offices last June in search of documents relating to the allegations.

On Monday, club employees were asked to leave the building as police returned again, seeking more evidence to aid their inquiry.

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Ofhani Munyai

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