French launch criminal probe into Belgian football agent Mogi Bayat

April 12 – Authorities in Rennes have launched a judicial investigation into Belgian-Iranian football agent Mogi Bayat on suspicion of “illegal exercise of the profession of players’ agent, money laundering and gang formation”.

“The preliminary investigation carried out by the Rennes public prosecutor’s office led to the launch of a judicial investigation on June 29, 2022,” local prosecutor Philipe Astruc told the French sports daily L’Equipe.

Bayat has long enjoyed strong ties with FC Nantes, setting up numerous transfers. The club have so far refused to comment.

It’s not the first time the 48-year-old has been targeted by the judiciary.

He is one of the main suspects in the Operation Zero case in Belgium, a widespread investigation into fraud in the Belgian game with allegations of forgery, money laundering, match-fixing and membership by a criminal organisation. Of 57 suspects, ten have already concluded a settlement with the federal prosecutor’s office.

Bayat chaired the Belgian FA (RBFA) from 2019 to 2021 and in 2020 stood for election to UEFA’s executive committee but failed in his bid with the Netherlands’ Just Spee winning the seat.

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