Offices at Newcastle United and West Ham United have been raided as part of an investigation into suspected tax and National Insurance fraud, according to reports.
HM Revenue and Customs officers were used in the raid on the training ground and main offices of the newly promoted Newcastle United’s St James’ Park at 6.30am on Wednesday, and the London Stadium, West Ham’s stadium.
£5m suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud have been made, and some arrests have been made in this regard. According to reports, Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley was also arrested in connection with the allegations, just two days after the team clinched promotion to the Premier League.
Newcastle’s players are reported to have been shocked to find the raid’s aftermath when they turned up for morning training.
BREAKING: Newcastle’s St James’ Park and West Ham’s London Stadium have been raided as part of a police investigation #SSNHQ
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) April 26, 2017
A statement from UK’s tax authority read, “HMRC has arrested several men working within the professional football industry for a suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud. 180 HMRC officers have been deployed across the UK and France today. Investigators have searched a number of premises in the north east and south east of England and arrested the men and also seized business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones”.
A West Ham United spokesperson said, “The Club is cooperating fully with HMRC to assist their enquiries. No further comment will be made at this time.”