RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian prosecutors have filed charges against a high-ranking Olympic official in connection to a ticket-scalping case that unfolded during last month's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Marcos Kac, a state prosecutor, said on Tuesday he decided to charge Olympic Council of Ireland President Patrick Hickey and nine others with ticket scalping, conspiracy and ambush marketing, after reviewing the police investigation.
"We found enough evidence linking Hickey to this plot to sell tickets by a company that was not authorized," Kac told The Associated Press. "These are tickets that were sold for up to $8,000."
Earlier Tuesday, Hickey arrived at police headquarters, but declined to answer additional questions after he was summoned in the wake of new findings. Hickey, 71, also made no comment to reporters upon leaving.
The OCI head was arrested on Aug. 17 during the games in his Rio hotel room. Also the head of Europe's Olympic bodies, Hickey was jailed in a prison complex after a two-day stay in a local hospital to undergo tests because of his medical history.
He was set free last week when a judge ruled that he wasn't a risk to the public or the investigation. His passport was confiscated, and he must remain in Brazil until the case is concluded.
Police have said that Hickey plotted with businessmen to transfer tickets illegally from a sports company called Pro 10 to hospitality provider THG Sports, which was a non-authorized vendor and allegedly sold them for very high fees. Police investigators said the scheme was planned to rake in $3 million.
The head of THG Sports, Kevin James Mallon, was arrested on Aug. 5 in the case, but was set free, like Hickey. He is also facing the same charges and must remain in Brazil.
The eight other suspects are businessmen with Pro10 and THG Sports who are not in Brazil, including Marcus Evans, who owns THG Sports' parent company, as well as English soccer club Ipswich Town.
Hickey has stepped aside "temporarily" as an IOC member and all his other Olympic positions.
Police investigator Aloysio Falcao said they wanted to talk to IOC President Thomas Bach about email exchanges between him and Hickey related to ticket allocations to Ireland but learned he canceled his trip to Brazil for the Paralympic Games. The IOC said Tuesday that Bach had to attend the official state mourning ceremony for Walter Scheel, the former West Germany president.
"During his stay, we were going to summon him to speak to us," he said. Still, investigators said they have not found any evidence of Bach's knowledge of the alleged scheme.
Investigators have also found evidence linking 35 other National Olympic Committees to the Marcus Evans group. Rio police will communicate this to other governments but are not expanding their own investigation.