Asia

Philippine boxer Manny Pacquiao's accounts frozen

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrates after winning his WBO international welterweight title fight against Brandon Rios, Nov 24th
Image caption Manny Pacquiao is one of the richest people in the Philippines

A court in the Philippines has frozen bank accounts belonging to the boxing star Manny Pacquiao, over claims he owes millions of dollars in unpaid tax.

The boxer, an elected politician, has called the move "harassment".

Mr Pacquiao told local media he had fulfilled all his tax obligations.

He added that the freeze had forced him to borrow money to fulfil a pledge to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines earlier this month, killing more than 5,200 people.

The case comes just days after Mr Pacquiao won a world welterweight title in a comeback fight in Macau.

Image caption Manny Pacquiao's win gave typhoon victims a much-needed moment of joy

Mr Pacquiao dedicated his win to the victims of the typhoon.

Correspondents say the boxer is seen as a hero in the Philippines. Even in typhoon-hit areas, big screens were erected over the weekend to allow people to watch the match.

Double taxation?

The Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue says Manny Pacquiao has not proved he paid the right level of taxes in 2008 and 2009.

The local bank accounts of both Mr Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee, have therefore been frozen.

But the boxer insists he paid taxes in the US during that period, which includes his lucrative victories against Ricky Hatton and Oscar de la Hoya.

He said that a treaty between the two countries prevented the requirement for double taxation.

"I am not a criminal or a thief," he told local reporters.