Pool boss in cash laundering probe

Valery Belokon at Karl Oyston's wedding last weekend
Valery Belokon at Karl Oyston's wedding last weekend
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BLACKPOOL FC’s Latvian president is embroiled in an investigation into alleged money laundering.

But Valeri Belokon has vigorously denied any wrong-doing – despite being named among 32 people subject to criminal proceedings in Kyrgyzstan, part of the former Soviet Union.

He added the dispute would have no bearing on the prosperity of the Seasiders and he remained committed to investing in the club.

According to news agency reports from the Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek, an investigation has been held into corruption allegations and the laundering of the proceeds of crime against ManasBank, part of Belokon Holdings, and AsiaUniversalBank. Mr Belokon says he will fight any allegations against him and is involved in his own dispute with the Kyrgyzstan government after claiming his assets there were seized.

His spokesman Normunds Malnacs, who is also a director of Blackpool FC, said: “Firstly, we would like to confirm that up to now, Mr Belokon has not received any formal or informal letter stating he is allegedly involved in criminal proceedings.

“Mr Belokon has always complied with all laws and regulations of the countries he does business in. He would fight any allegations against him, should they arise.”

Mr Malnacs says Mr Belokon had assets seized in last April’s military coup in Kyrgyzstan and has been forced to seek legal assistance to protect his interests.

Mr Malnacs reassured fans the dispute would not affect investment in Blackpool FC.

He said: “Certainly, Mr Belokon keeps a close eye on Blackpool Football Club. Currently, the club is financially stable. If at any point in time there will be a need for investments, Mr Belokon will undoubtedly do so.

“Mr Belokon maintains regular contact with me and the chairman Mr Karl Oyston. He firmly believes the Seasiders are about to surprise the English Football community again.

Mr Oyston said the club was entirely confident in Mr Belekon’s business dealings.

Mr Belokon has been an investor in Blackpool FC since 2006.