Police performed several arrests during a search-and-seize operation at Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium on Monday, a spokesman for the Catalan regional police said.
According to the authorities, officers raided the offices of FC Barcelona following an investigation into the club officials’ alleged instigation of a smear campaign against current and former players who expressed disproval of the club and former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The probe was carried out by the financial crimes unit of the force.
Bartomeu is one of the arrested individuals during the operation.
Police said FC Barcelona’s CEO Òscar Grau and head of legal services Román Gómez Pontí, were also among those who have been arrested due to being accused of “unfair administration, corruption between individuals and money laundering.”
The Catalan police confirmed the operation’s arrests. However, it did not mention the exact number of arrests performed by the authorities.
The club then released a statement on Monday, confirming the raid which took place at its famed Camp Nou stadium. The arrest occurred just six days ahead of FC Barcelona’s presidential election.
“Regarding the entry and search by the Catalan Police force this morning at the Camp Nou offices by order of the Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona, which is in charge of the case relating to the contacting of monitoring services on social networks, FC Barcelona have offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation,” it said in its statement.
“FC Barcelona expresses its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation.”