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Club News

Club Statement

31 May 2016

Club Concerned By Unfolding Events In Latvia

Blackpool Football Club has received press reports of an incident that took place at the Riga Headquarters of Baltic International Bank, owned by Club President Valeri Belokon and his brother, Vilori.

LTV, the state owned public service broadcasting television company in Latvia, reported that the Economic Police, with the help of Special Force ‘Omega’, carried out a search of the bank on the afternoon of Monday 16 May 2016.

Investigators confirmed that the search was made in relation to criminal proceedings concerning money laundering within the group. The Economic Police, after searching the Bank and other related sites, detained one of the employees.

The search follows a recent €1.1m fine on Baltic International Bank from Latvia’s financial regulator due to repeated violations of laws regarding money laundering, terrorist financing and customer due diligence.   

Blackpool Football Club’s board has repeatedly requested information as to the source of the funds that were invested by Mr Belokon and his associated companies into Blackpool FC. The Club’s Board has requested explanations concerning the disparity between the apparent source of funds and Mr Belokon’s previous statements. The requests have been made to both Mr Belokon and Mr Varpins, both directors of the Club, and to Mr Belokon and his company VBFA.

To date no satisfactory response has been given to the questions, or to the inquiries made by the Club’s board as to the involvement of a jointly owned company Maval Aktivi, of which Mr Belokon and Mr Maxim Bakiyev were owners before the company dissolved.

Such is the concern regarding these unfolding events that the Club’s board has taken the unprecedented step of informing the UK football authorities of their concerns, and contacting the financial regulatory authorities in Latvia and Kyrgyzstan to seek clarification and further information.

Blackpool Football Club has initiated the closure of its Baltic international account and the removal of its funds from the Baltic International Bank.

Blackpool Football Club will continue to do all in its power, via the board, to seek answers to the questions raised with Mr Valeri Belokon and Mr Kaspars Varpins.

Mr Valeri Belokon has declined to attend any Board Meetings at Blackpool Football Club for several years.

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