Brazil raids over ‘Olympic vote-buying’

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Carlos Arthur NuzmanImage copyright Allsport/Getty
Image caption The home of the head of Brazil’s Olympic Committee was among those raided, media reports said

Brazilian police say they are raiding a number of addresses over “strong evidence” of vote-buying in the country’s 2016 Olympic bid.

The raids are part of an ongoing investigation into an “international corruption scheme”.

The investigation relates to the alleged bribery of International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials.

The home of the of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) president is among those raided, media reports say.

Carlos Arthur Nuzman has led the BOC since 1995, and headed the Rio De Janeiro Organising Committee for the 2016 Games.

Reports say he is accused of acting as an intermediately for a “cash for votes” scheme targeting African delegates of the IOC, in the run up to the 2016 allocation.

They suggest Mr Nuzman will be questioned by federal police later on Tuesday, and his passport could be withheld.

There was no immediate comment from Mr Nuzman on Tuesday. A spokesman for the Rio Olympics declined to comment to Reuters news agency on the police raids.

Seventy police officers, joined by French officials, have searched 11 sites across Rio, including the Brazilian Olympic Association headquarters, and issued two arrest warrants, a police statement said.

Image copyright Allsport/Getty Images
Image caption French prosecutors have been investigation corruption in the 2016 and 2020 Olympic bids

In March, French newspaper Le Monde alleged a Brazilian businessman had paid $1.5m (£1.2m) to the son of an IOC member days before the city was selected for the 2016 Games.

The IOC then confirmed an ethics commission was looking into the allegations and the committee was “working in co-operation with the [French] prosecutor”.

Police confirmed on Tuesday they had issued arrest warrants and conducted a number of search and seizure operations.

French prosecutors announced last year they were widening their investigation into corruption in athletics to include the bidding and voting processes for the hosting of the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

Rio’s former governor, Sergio Cabral, was jailed in June for 14 years for corruption and money laundering.

He was convicted of embezzlement from public construction work contracts, including the renovation of Rio’s Macarena stadium, where the 2016 Rio Games opening and closing ceremonies were held.

In a statement, the IOC said: “The IOC has learned about these circumstances from the media and is making every effort to get the full information. It is in the highest interests of the IOC to get clarification on this matter.”

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