Meet the hacker who touched the untouchables of football

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Nicknamed in the investigative world as 'John', the 30-year-old Portuguese was the 'deep throat' of Football Leaks

Meet the hacker who touched the untouchables of football

What began as a local investigation in his native Portugal, transcended borders and put the 'finger in the sore' of the most renowned soccer players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, strategist Jose Mourinho, and agent Jorge Mendes, among other stars of world football and nearby to FIFA (International Federation of Associated Football).

Leer en español: Conozca al hacker que tocó a los intocables del fútbol

In 2015, Rui Pinto, better known as 'John', gave life to his blog WordPress to publish confidential documents such as player contracts, transfer agreements and countless 'secrets' that annoyed the football industry, but that it seduced to the network of Collaborations of Investigation in Europe (EIC, by its abbreviations in English).

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A year later, thanks to the credibility of his articles, the thirty-year-old leaked thousands of documents to the media Der Spiegel, El Mundo, and Mediapart, among others, muddying the aforementioned characters on how they evaded taxes, as well as Luka Modric, who diverted money to Holland or Luxembourg, or the concealment of UEFA before the 'dance of the millions' of PSG and Manchester United.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Pinto explained that his investigation began due to the scandal that broke out after the revelations of the 'Fifagate' in 2015, which 'buried' the careers of Joseph Blatter at Fifa and Michel Platini at UEFA.

Everybody against 'John'

Cornered by the veracity of the files shared with the media and turned into a nomad, the young 30-year-old who advanced his Erasmus in Budapest (Hungary), was accused of committing his first hacking when he was 23, stealing 300 thousand euros from Celedonia Bank, a bank based in the Cayman Islands, according to information published by the Portuguese press.

To sink it further and avoid further dismantling orbital soccer stars, 'John' was accused of blackmailing Nelio Lucas, CEO of the Doyen investment fund, with a sum ranging from 500 thousand to one million euros per avoid the publication of documents that indicated the questionable operations of their businesses by buying and selling the rights of footballers in Spain and Portugal to make them profitable in future operations.

"Pinto deserves to be supported by all those who are committed to the defense of press freedom and investigative journalism (…) In the absence of someone to protect at the European level, everything is based on the existence of bilateral agreements. That's why Falciani came to Spain because our country does not recognize why it is being persecuted in Switzerland", Delphine Halgand-Mishra, executive director of The Signals, told Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

For now, while the European Union decides whether or not to support the informants, ' John', admirer of Cristiano Ronaldo, was arrested in Budapest and extradited to Portugal, where he is accused of data theft and attempted extortion, for which he would reach a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.


LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Hernández

Translated from "Conozca al hacker que tocó a los intocables del fútbol"

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