Following the arrests of 14 Fifa officials this Wednesday, UK banks Barclays and Standard Charter have both now launched reviews into past transactions made with officials of the global #Football organisation, according to the BBC. It is understood that Britain's Serious Fraud Office is now also involved in surveying the situation.
These two banks, alongside HSBC, are thought to have dealt in suspect transactions linked to Fifa, its officials, and various connected companies. If there is enough evidence of criminal action, the SFO will launch a full investigation into the matter. A source speaking to the Daily Mail has stated that 'The SFO is looking to see whether any of the alleged corruption took place on British soil, by any UK firms or individuals.'
Amongst the suspected illegal transactions is the transfer of more than £320,000 to a London-based luxury yacht manufacturer, as well as a payment of £130,000 which was transferred through a New York branch of Barclays to an account in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands. If the banks are found to be guilty of corruption, or shown to have failed to perform thorough checks on their business dealings, they could be imposed with heavy fines.
The accountancy firm KPMG is also suspected of corruption, and is currently facing tough questions regarding why it had not previously flagged up Fifa's illegal transactions over the past few years, despite numerous allegations of corruption aimed at the footballing body. According to the US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, those who are under suspicion alongside the 14 who have already been charged, include 'businessmen, bankers and other trusted intermediaries who laundered illicit payments'.
At the same time as the FBI continues its investigation, Swiss prosecutors have begun a second criminal investigation into the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which have been awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively. It is thought that, particularly in the case of Qatar, allegations of rising migrant death tolls, and the shocking treatment of workers, could see the country lose its bid for the World Cup. #Worldcup 2014