‘I am not a thief’ – declares Pacquiao as bank accounts are frozen in tax row

Eight-weight world title winner Manny Pacquiao has had his bank accounts frozen as the row over his supposed undeclared tax bills escalates on the back of his triumphant return to the ring last weekend.

The 34 year-old, who defeated Brandon Rios via a wide points decision in Macau on Saturday night, reportedly failed to declare his income tax returns (via his accountant) for bouts in the US five years ago and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have filed a case against him.

This latest move to block his accounts is set to hamper the Filipino’s attempts to help his fellow-countrymen in the wake of the Typhoon disaster – after the ‘Pacman’ pledged to donate significant amounts of the $18million earned against Rios to the relief.

Pacquiao’s lawyers has stated that bilateral tax law in place between the Philippines and the USA meant the fighter was not obliged to declare his earnings on home soil, something that has been refuted as the disagreement rumbles on.

In a recent radio interview, Pacquiao leapt to his own defences when speaking on the freeze put in place on his accounts as the former pound for pound king continues to fight to clear his name of any wrongdoing.

“Why should the Court of Tax Appeal freeze my accounts? I am not a thief,” said the former world champion.

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