Police Seize More Irish Olympic Executives' Passports in Rio

Ireland's top Olympic executives are accused of illegally selling Olympic tickets

Police are blocking Ireland's top four Olympic executives from leaving Brazil as their ticket scalping investigation expanded with a raid on the team on the final day of the Rio de Janeiro Games.

The Rio police force said it executed search warrants Sunday to seize passports and evidence from Ireland team leader Kevin Kilty, chief executive Stephen Martin and secretary general Dermot Henihan, who are accused of illegally selling Olympic tickets.

The trio, whose phones and laptops were taken by police, agreed to present themselves for questioning by police on Tuesday, the OCI said in an earlier statement.

The new development in the investigation came as Olympic Council of Ireland president Patrick Hickey, who is also a top Olympic official, remained in jail following his arrest on Wednesday.

Irish officials were preparing for the closing ceremony when the OCI said that early Sunday police arrived at its offices in the Olympic Village and external accommodation.

Unused official tickets were taken from the Irish office in the Olympic Village, which the OCI said were for athletes' families and friends. 

"We are continuing the investigation into the international scheme of ticket scalping," Rio police said. "Agents are conducting investigations since this morning which will continue until Tuesday."

Investigators say a company, Pro 10 Sports Management, was created to facilitate the transfer of tickets between the Irish Olympic committee and THG, an unauthorized ticket seller.

The investigation has been unfolding through the Olympics, with the first arrests made two weeks ago.

The highest-profile figure swept up by investigators is Hickey, the head of the umbrella organization for Europe's Olympic bodies. Hickey was due to be spending the closing ceremony of the Olympics on Sunday in Rio's Bangu prison complex after his lawyers failed to secure his release on bail.

"Mr. Hickey has been arrested due to suppositions that are not supported by any material evidence or proof of the alleged facts presented by the police," Hickey's lawyer, Arthur Lavigne, said in a statement. "His arrest has no legal support. The investigation did not bring one single slight indication that Mr. Hickey could be involved with the facts therein investigated, and his detention was required by the police authority under mere assumptions."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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