Brazil police seize passports in Olympic ticket scam

Deutsche Welle
3 Min Read

Police in Rio de Janeiro have raided Irish Olympic officials in connection with a probe into a black market ticket ring. It follows last week’s arrest of Irish Olympic chief Pat Hickey.
Sunday’s early morning raid at the Irish office in the Rio Olympic Village saw the passports of three Irish Olympic officials seized, and also netted Olympics tickets, phones and computers, Irish officials said.

The passports of Kevin Kilty, Dermot Henihen and Stephen Martin were removed, Rio police said in a statement.

“During the operation, Civil Police seized the passports of the three Irishmen, preventing them from leaving the country,” police said.

Investigators said according to evidence gathered so far, the trio was also allegedly involved in the illegal sale of tickets.”

No more arrests

None of the officials were detained, but they were asked to appear at a police station Tuesday for questioning.

A Brazilian judge also ordered the seizure of the passport of stand-in OCI President Willie O’Brien, Senior Vice President John Delaney, and an OCI personal assistant, Linda O’Reilly.

Sunday’s raid came on the last day of the 16-day Games, and followed the much publicized arrest Wednesday of the head of the Irish Olympic Council Patrick Hickey.

Hickey, who is also an International Olympic Committee member and head of the European Olympic Committee, is being held in Rio’s Bangu maximum security prison.

The 71-year-old is due to appear before a court in Rio on Tuesday, accused of involvement in a ticket scam, ambush marketing and conspiracy over the sale of Rio Olympics tickets at inflated prices.

Hickey “temporarily” stood down from his official positions after the arrest so the IOC ethics commission can launch an official investigation.

$3.1 million scam

The scandal first unfolded on August 5 when Kevin Mallon, the Irish head of the THG hospitality company, was arrested. Rio police accuse Ireland’s official Games ticket reseller, Dublin-based PRO10 Sports Management, of funneling tickets to THG Sports.

Police said they seized hundreds of tickets from Mallon, which were being offered for sale at $8,000 (7,072 euros). Investigators believe the ticket touting scam was worth more than $3.1 million.

PRO10 and THG have denied wrongdoing.

The arrests are an embarrassment for the IOC, which has, so far, not criticized or supported Hickey.

mm/sms (AFP, Reuters)

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