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The football club Oțelul Galati received $125,000 from LCM Alliance on Feb. 6, 2013.
Oțelul Galati is a Romanian football club that was dissolved in 2016 after going bankrupt. The payment represents the cost of the transfer of Romanian player Marius Pena from Oțelul Galati, his home team, to the Azerbaijani team FC Baku, the club owned by Azerbaijani energy and football mogul Hafiz Mammadov.
“My agent called me and told me about this offer and I accepted on the spot,” Pena told OCCRP. “I was in a dispute with Oțelul and just wanted to leave.” Pena played only one season in Baku and returned to Romania to play in a local league.
For his services, FC Baku paid $125,000 to FC Oțelul Galați. “This is the first time that I’ve heard about the amount,” Pena said. “I didn’t know then.” He said he also didn’t know the money was wired from the bank account of LCM Alliance.
“It’s the first I’ve heard about this company. I just knew that Zeynal Mammadov was the president of the club and that Hafiz, his brother, was the money man,” Pena said.
Hafiz Mammadov and FC Baku did not answer respond to requests for comment.