Rio de Janeiro police arrests leader of illegal tickets selling scheme

Ray Whelan is the executive director of the company authorized by Fifa to sell World Cup box seats tickets

iG Minas Gerais | Folhapress |

Rio de Janeiro police arrested, this Monday (7) at Copacabana Palace hotel, the British Ray Whelan, executive director of Match, only company authorized by Fifa to sell tickets packages and box seats for the World Cup.

According to the police, Whelan would be the leader of a millionaire scheme for illegal selling of the tournament's tickets. Eleven people involved in this scheme have already been arrested.

The police chief in charge of the investigation, Fabio Barucke, said he got to Match director's name with the collaboration of lawyer José Massih. He is one of the suspects of participating in the pack. "He has been fundamental for us to get to this person. Fifa has sent us the list of the authorized ones, and it checked with his statement", said the police officer.

Among the 11 people arrested, is the French-Argelian Lamine Fofana, who initially had been pointed as the leader of the pack. According to the police, Whelan would be the owner of the official Fifa cell phone that would get calls from Fofana intercepted in hundreds of calls authorized by the Justice at the operation named "Jules Rimet".

O Tempo reporting team tried contacting Fifa to question the organization about Whelan's arrest, but didn't receive an answer until 4:30 p. m. this Monday (7).

Ray Whelan is the executive director of Match Services, branch of the company responsible for managing the accommodations and VIP ticket selling for the football organization.

Among Whelan's duties, there was checking and credencing the World Cup official hotels and the VIP tickets selling.

The director spent the last years riding throughout Brazil, visiting possible accommodations that would be used in the host cities and also in the cities that received training centres of the squads.

Translated by Raquel Sodré

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