Zagreb, July 8 (IANS) Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Luca Modric will be among the main witnesses testifying against football club Dynamo Zagreb officials, who are being investigated over the alleged misappropriation of millions of euros.
Dynamo president Zdravko Mamic and his brother, club coach Zoran, were arrested on Saturday on charges of committing fraud in the transfer deals of several players, causing the Croatian club a loss of some 16 million euros (around $17.4 million), Efe reported on Tuesday.
The prosecution’s investigations have found that the Mamic brothers used a player to illegally pocket 52 million Croatian kunas (around $7.5 million), according to a Jutarnji list newspaper report.
Although the player was not specifically named, Croatian media outlets expressed little doubt that Modric was the player referred to by the Croatian bureau for combating corruption and organised crime, or USKOK, in a statement last week.
According to the USKOK, a clause in the player’s contract stipulated that half of the money paid by England club Tottenham Hotspur would not go to Dynamo, but to the player himself, while claims argued that Modric was then forced to turn the sum over to the Mamics.
Jutarnji list also added that once Dynamo paid Modric his share from his transfer deal to Tottenham, the player headed with the Mamic brothers straight to the bank.
Citing sources from the USKOK who requested anonymity, the newspaper confirmed that minutes after Modric withdrew money from his account, someone from the Mamic family deposited large sums in another account at the same bank.
It is expected that the magistrate will ask for clarification from Modric on the coincidence in dates and amounts, including money he withdrew between 2009 and 2011, and the amounts that were deposited into accounts belonging to the Mamic brothers.
Former Dynamo players allegedly involved in similar procedures will testify as well, including Dejan Lovren, now at Liverpool, and Mario Mandzukic from Juventus.
Jutarnji list and telegram.hr news portals noted that Modric has already confirmed investigators’ suspicions.
Croatian judicial authorities have frozen the bank accounts of the Mamic brothers and have ordered to keep them in custody for a month while judicial investigations proceed.
Executive director of the Croatian football federation, Damir Vrbanovic, was also arrested along with an employee in the Croatian Tax Administration in connection with the case.