Hickey linked to ticket scam - Rio police

Brazilian police say that they have uncovered evidence linking the detained head of the Olympic Council of Ireland, Patrick Hickey, to a Rio Games ticket scam.

Hickey, 71, also head of the European Olympic Committees and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, has been held in a Brazilian top security prison since police raided his Rio hotel on 15 August during the Olympics as part of their probe into the affair.

Warrants for the arrest of four others were issued including Marcus Evans, a British businessman who is also the chairman of Ipswich football club in England.

"The analysis of the pieces of evidence, and above all of the emails, confirm that the president of the Irish Olympic Committee, Patrick (Hickey), was in direct contact with Marcus Evans, who is the head of THG," Rio police investigator Ricardo Barbosa told a Rio press conference Tuesday.

He said that the British company THG, a hospitality firm, "was the organiser of this criminal system that consists in the illegal sale of tickets at prices much higher than the official price, under cover of a hospitality programme."

Hickey and another suspect Kevin Mallon, arrested on 5 August, are being held at Rio's Bangu 10 prison while arrest warrants had been issued for seven others who are on the run, including Evans, police said.

The scandal has been mounting since the arrest of Mallon, an Irish director of THG.

Police said that they have seized hundreds of tickets from Mallon, some of which had the Olympic Council of Ireland name on them.

Tickets, including for the Rio opening ceremony with a face value of about $1 400 were offered for sale at $8 000.


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