Perth Glory and a mining company chaired by the soccer club’s owner, Tony Sage, say they are not at the centre of a federal police investigation following a raid on their offices.
The club and Cape Lambert Resources were among several business and residential properties in Perth and Sydney associated with Mr Sage that were raided by the Australian Federal Police on Wednesday.
It’s understood police spent several hours at the Perth Glory and Cape Lambert offices, which are housed in the same building in Leederville.
Cape Lambert said in a statement lodged with the Australian Securities Exchange on Thursday that the raids were not directly related to its business.
“The company believes the matters relating to the execution of these warrants are not related to its business and have co-operated with the AFP fully,” Cape Lambert said.
“Where appropriate, the company will continue to co-operate with the AFP, so as to ensure the resolution of this matter in a timely fashion.”
A Perth Glory statement said the club was also not directly linked to the investigation.
"Perth Glory, which is within an office complex shared with other non-related companies, was not served with a warrant, nor was its office entered by the authorities," the statement
"It believes the matters relating to the execution of these warrants are not related to its business in any way."
The AFP said the searches were part of its ongoing investigation in partnership with commonwealth agencies including the Australian Crime Commission, Australian Tax Office and Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
It was not appropriate to make any further comment while the investigation was ongoing, the AFP said.
In May this year, the ATO sent Cape Lambert an amended tax assessment and an associated penalty notice, saying tax should have been paid on “contingent proceeds” from an August 2008 deal with a Chinese party.
The deal - the sale of an iron ore asset in Western Australia’s Pilbara region for $400 million to state-owned China Metallurgical Group Corporation - was at the time viewed as a great one for Cape Lambert.
But it hit a snag when MCC paid only $320 million, triggering Supreme Court action to recover the remaining $80 million.
In June this year, Cape Lambert said the court ordered MCC to pay the outstanding amount into an escrow account “pending the resolution of the dispute between the parties”.
But six weeks later, Cape Lambert said the court order was only indicative and that the escrow payment issue would be determined by an arbitrator in Singapore as a preliminary matter.
Cape Lambert then disputed the amended tax assessment with the ATO.
Earlier this month, the company said the ATO had agreed to it paying a total of $33.3 million in instalments by March 31, 2013, with no further amounts required until the final determination of the company’s dispute with the tax office.
Mr Sage could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
The well-known local identity, who’s also a director of Perth Fashion Festival, is not shy of big battles, winning a 2010 appeal against an ASX trading ban on two companies that he chaired.
The ban was related to the companies’ connection to controversial Romanian entrepreneur Frank Timis, who has past heroin convictions, has limitations placed on him by the Toronto Stock Exchange and was linked to a UK-based spin-off of failed fuel pill firm Firepower.