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Brazil police seize passports of three Olympic officials allegedly involved in illegal ticket sales scam

There is nothing that is new about “touts” buying tickets for popular events and then selling them on for a much higher price than their face value. So it will have come as no surprise that this has happened at the recent Rio Olympics, although in this case they could have had their “fingers burned” as from television coverage, it appears that most events had masses of empty seats.

From Information that we have, it seems that one person, Pat Hickey, head of the Olympic Council of Ireland and member of the International Olympic Committee, is implicated in a scam involving Ireland’s official Games ticket reseller, Dublin-based PRO10 Sports Management, and an international sports hospitality company, THG Sports.

The accusation revolves around information that police allege is that PRO10 was funnelling tickets to THG Sports, which sold them illegally at inflated prices. We understand that the three senior Olympic Council of Ireland officials, including one from Northern Ireland, have had their passports, phones and laptops seized in Brazil. Those who had their passports seized on Sunday morning were OCI Executive Director Stephen Martin, Secretary-General Dermot Henihan and Treasurer Kevin Kilty, in addition to Mr Hickey, who was arrested earlier and is currently being held in a Rio prison, pending formal charges.

In response to the allegations the Olympic Committee of Ireland said it was appointing a crisis management committee to lead the council’s response to events in Brazil, the committee is comprised of Sarah Keane, Swim Ireland, Prof Ciarán Ó’Catháin, Athletics Ireland, and Robert Norwood, Snowsports Association of Ireland.

Rio civil police have issued a statement which says that they had started an investigation into an international ticket touting ring, but they have declined to issue any further details at this time.

Picture: Iurii Osadchi / Shutterstock.com