Olympics ticket scalping ring was eyeing future Games: sources
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[September 08, 2016]
By Rodrigo Viga
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A ticket
touting ring uncovered at the Rio Games had operated for around 8
years and was preparing for other Olympic events such as the 2020
Tokyo Summer Games, two Rio de Janeiro police sources said on
The ring appears to have operated similar scams at the Sochi 2014
Winter Olympics and the 2012 London Games, according to the sources,
who requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak
The extent of the scalping operation was discovered after police
reviewed documents and emails seized during a sting operation at the
Rio Games which led to the arrest of Patrick Hickey, former head of
the Olympic Council of Ireland, and Kevin Mallon, a director of
international sports hospitality company THG Sports.
Lawyers for Hickey did not respond to requests for comment. Mallon's
lawyers were not immediately available because their law office was
closed for a public holiday in Brazil.
Rio police have accused Hickey of operating the ticket scalping
operation with Ireland's official Olympic Games ticket reseller,
Dublin-based PRO10 Sports Management. They have accused PRO10 of
funneling tickets to THG Sports which sold them illegally at
inflated prices. PRO10 and THG have denied wrongdoing.
In addition to Hickey and Mallon, Brazilian officials are likely to
seek prosecution of another seven executives from PRO10 and THG with
alleged ties to the ticket price-gouging scheme.
"The exchange of messages, spreadsheets and documents analyzed
strengthened the investigation and showed that the scam was vast,"
said one of the police sources.
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Former top European member of the International Olympic Committee
(IOC), Patrick Hickey, leaves a police station in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
"It was active at other sporting events and was already preparing
for coming competitions," including Tokyo 2020 and the 2018 Winter
Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the source added.
The second police source told Reuters "the scheme was much older and
much larger than was imagined initially."
(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga; Writing by Reese Ewing; Editing by
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