Brazil nabs Olympic official for ‘illegal’ ticket sales

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A senior International Olympic Committee (IOC)
official has stepped down temporarily following his
arrest over alleged involvement in illegal Olympic
ticket sales at the Rio Games.
Patrick Hickey has been replaced by William
O’Brien as president of the Olympic Council of
Ireland (OCI), the OCI said on Wednesday just hour
after Hickey’s arrest.
Brazilian police have recommended charging
Hickey and three executives of a Dublin-based
ticket reseller for the Games, with illegal resale of
tickets, criminal association and fraudulent
marketing.

Prosecutors have estimated the profits from the
black market tickets sales at $3m.
Aside from being a president of his country’s
Olympic committee, Hickey has been an executive
board member of IOC since 2012. He also serves
as the European Olympic Comittees (EOC).
The Rio Times reported that Hickey tried to sell
tickets stamped as “being given to the OCI”.
The IOC said it was “still in the process of
establishing the facts”.
Escape attempt
According to Brazilian media reports, Hickey tried
to escape when police arrived to arrest him in his
hotel room in the Barra district of Rio.
Hickey reportedly fell ill after being arrested and
received medical attention, though reports about
him being taken to the hospital remain
unconfirmed.

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Two people were arrested earlier in August amid
allegations that Olympic tickets earmarked for
Ireland’s Olympic Council were sold on the black
market in Rio de Janeiro.
One of those individuals was sports hospitality
company THG Sports director Kevin Mallon, an
Irishman who was alleged to have resold Rio
Olympics tickets illegally at inflated prices of up to
$7,800.
Hickey’s arrest followed Mallon’s from the day of
the opening ceremony. When he was arrested on
August 5, Mallon was in possession of more than
800 top-class tickets for the Games.
Four further THG directors are also wanted in
connection with the probe, including Marcus Evans,
owner of the Marcus Evans Group, which is the
parent company to THG.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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