Kenyan soccer star named in Tax evasion scandal in Belgium
Divork Origi is among half a dozen European based footballers who have been named in a newspaper report for “evading” tax.
According to the Flemmish Daily, Origi, who is son of former Kenya international Mike Okoth, is being investigated by Belgian authorities for operating an off-shore account in Luxembourg.
The 19 year old striker, who is also a first cousin to Kenya’s Scandinavian-based goalkeeper Arnold Origi, earns about Sh10 million a month.
The other suspects coincidentally are Origi’s Belgium teammates Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Kevin Miralles.
Origi was signed by Liverpool last August but currently plays on loan at French club Lille.
The rest of the players save for Origi are based in the English Premier League, with Hazard and Coutois teammates at Chelsea, while Miralles turns out for Everton.
The report suggests the Belgian internationals have Luxembourg-based companies they use to transfer money.
Taxes in Luxembourg taxes are considerably lower than in Belgium.
Such practices are said to be legal if the players can “prove the company is run from Luxembourg, which is naturally difficult (to prove)”, according to an expert quoted by Belgian paper De Morgen, who added that the players risked penalties if found guilty.
Origi rose to fame after being selected to feature at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil last year, as a late replacement for injured English based forward Christian Benteke.
His form at the competition, coupled with a goal against Russia, was enough to earn him a host of admirers in his homeland and England including Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, before he opted to join Liverpool.
Months earlier, the youngster had declined a call up to play for Kenya handed to him by then coach Adel Amrouche.