Rui Pinto, the man behind the Football Leaks revelations in 2015, has opened up about the potential scope of the information he has gathered over the years. The release of this information could lead to new procedures being opened and the relaunch of ongoing investigations in countries across Europe. Pinto was recently questioned by French anti-corruption investigators in relation to the original Football Leaks revelations, and he stated that he wanted to give French and foreign authorities unrestricted access to the data he had collected.
The information that Pinto has provided is far greater than what has been made available to the media consortium that has published the Football Leaks revelations so far. The French financial crimes investigators have confirmed that they can now start working on exploiting the data, thanks to Pinto’s essential cooperation.
Pinto mentioned that the data he has can shed light on a wide range of issues, including fiscal irregularities in high-profile football transfers. For example, he referred to documents that raise suspicions of fiscal irregularities in Neymar’s record-breaking transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. He also mentioned the “Luanda Leaks” investigation from 2020, which focused on Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of the former Angola president. Pinto claimed that the data he handed over goes beyond just Football Leaks and Luanda Leaks, and it encompasses information about some of Europe’s leading football clubs, sports federations, and companies.
Pinto also highlighted the challenges he has faced in his home country of Portugal where he has been subjected to what he describes as “harassment” by the justice system. He contrasted this with the respectful welcome he received in France, where he no longer faces prosecution for hacking the emails of Paris Saint-Germain executives.
While Pinto has appealed against his four-year conviction in Portugal, he still faces a number of criminal investigations in the country. Nonetheless, the dropping of certain elements of the Portuguese investigations in November has allowed him to cooperate with other countries and contribute to ongoing investigations in Europe.
Despite his cooperation with investigators and the potential impact of the information he has provided, Pinto expressed concerns about the implications on his personal life. He fears being subjected to judicial persecution indefinitely and lamented the fact that he is not even allowed to apply for a job.
Overall, Pinto’s actions have significantly impacted the world of football in Europe, and the potential revelations from the data he has could spark new controversies and investigations in the future. His collaboration with authorities in France and other countries could bring to light a wealth of information that has the potential to significantly change the landscape of football in Europe.