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Agent Jorge Mendes, major Portuguese clubs under investigation

Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Football agent Jorge Mendes of GestiFute company attends the game during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Selhurst Park on October 6, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images)

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LISBON, Portugal -- Portuguese authorities conducted extensive raids Wednesday as part of an investigation into suspected tax evasion in soccer transfers.

The attorney general’s office said in a statement that 76 searches were being carried out. According to public statements, some of those searches included soccer agent Jorge Mendes’s home, the offices of Benfica, Porto, and Sporting Lisbon, as well as the office of Cristiano Ronaldo’s lawyer, Carlos Osorio de Castro.

The targets were the premises of soccer clubs, agents and lawyers. More than 180 police officers, 101 tax inspectors and 16 magistrates took part in the operation.

The investigation covers transfers and other deals since 2015, the statement said. Authorities are looking into whether tax evasion and money laundering occurred.

The statement provided no further details, citing Portugal’s judicial secrecy law which prohibits the publication of information about ongoing investigations.