MOSCOW, July 8 (RAPSI) – The Rio de Janeiro police have arrested Ray Whelan, director of the World Cup’s hospitality provider, Match Hospitality, as part of an investigation into the illegal sale of World Cup tickets, AFP announced.
Whelan was arrested at the luxurious Copacabana Palace Hotel on Monday as part of Operation Jules Rimet, named after the founder of the World Cup tournament.
In early July, Rio police broke up an international criminal group that was illegally re-selling tickets to FIFA matches and arrested 11 people. According to media reports, the group re-sold tickets which FIFA allocated to national federations. The police said they suspected a FIFA representative at Match Hospitality of involvement in the scam.
Those arrested could face charges of money laundering, criminal association and illegally selling tickets.
The suspects allegedly include former coach Dunga, former players Junior Baiano and Carlos Alberto and Roberto de Assis, a former player and the manager of his brother Ronaldinho.
Re-selling World Cup tickets for profit is illegal in Brazil and against FIFA rules. Of the more than three million tickets for the tournament, 445,500 were allocated to Switzerland-based Match Hospitality.