CHELSEA have become the latest Premier League club contacted by HMRC after West Ham and Newcastle were raided as part of a major HMRC tax fraud investigation.
The Blues were asked for information after West Ham and recently-promoted Newcastle were hit in 4am busts, with Toon chief Lee Charnley arrested.
According to reports, HMRC officers have been at Chelsea all morning with a request for information in connection to the probe – but have NOT raided Stamford Bridge.
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A spokesman for Chelsea said: “In connection with its wider investigation, HMRC has requested certain information which the club will provide.”
St James’ Park and the London Stadium were two locations targeted earlier on Wednesday, with officers up at 4am to begin the operation.
HMRC confirmed almost 200 officials were deployed across both England and France as the operation crossed the Channel.
A statement 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.
“The French authorities are assisting the UK investigation, have made arrests and several locations have been searched in France.
“This criminal investigation sends a clear message that, whoever you are, if you commit tax fraud you can expect to face the consequences.
“As this is an ongoing investigation HMRC is unable to provide any further detail at this time.”
The clubs could now face points deductions if found guilty.
Earlier, a statement from West Ham read: “The club is cooperating fully with HMRC to assist their enquiries. No further comment will be made at this time.”
Newcastle are yet to comment on the incident.
HMRC confirmed that no police were involved in the operation, but confirmed in a parliamentary hearing in January that 43 players, 12 teams and eight agents were being investigated.
Meanwhile, sources in France claim: “The belief is that organised criminal gangs based in Corsica and mainland France were working with senior officials at the club, agents and other parties.
“Marseille has done a lot of high profile business with both West Ham and Newcastle in recent years, and accordingly both British clubs are being brought into this enquiry.”
Senior Marseille directors have been charged as part of the investigation, with over 110 companies looked into.