London, April 26 (IANS) Several officials, including Newcastle club's Managing Director. were arrested on Wednesday as part of a probe into tax fraud in English football launched by the UK's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The wide-ranging raids, in which 180 agents were deployed, included searches in France and the United Kingdom, mainly in the north-east and south-east of England, reports Efe.
During the raids, several officials, including Newcastle United Managing Director Lee Charnley, were arrested and business and financial records, computers and mobile phones were seized.
"HMRC has arrested several men working within the professional football industry for a suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud," HMRC said in a statement.
The statement pointed out that the French authorities are "assisting" the investigation and have already made arrests, with several locations searched in France.
"This criminal investigation sends a clear message that, whoever you are, if you commit tax fraud, you can expect to face the consequences," the note stressed.
The note concluded that HMRC cannot give more details at this time as the investigation is still ongoing.
The raids, by UK tax officers, were conducted at the offices of West Ham United and Newcastle United.