Emails between imprisoned former International Olympic Committee member Patrick Hickey and the British owner of the ticketing company said to be behind the illegal ticket touting scam are being investigated by the Brazilian police. In an email from Hickey to Marcus Evans of THG, the Irishman wrote “you can use them all."
At a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday police said they were investigating bank documents and communications for evidence of the illegal ticketing ring. Patrick Hickey the President of the Olympic Council of Ireland and member of the IOC was arrested last week accused of being part of an illegal ticket sales scam at the 2016 Olympics, in Rio.
Also on Tuesday a court heard that there was no date set for Hickey’s hearing. The 71-year-old is believed to be shared a cell with the Director of THG Sports, Kevin Mallon, who was arrested earlier this month. They are being held at the maximum-security Bangu prison.
At their press conference the Rio police provided printouts of some of the emails between Evans, the head of THG, an international sports hospitality company. In the emails, the police said, Hickey and Evans discussed the fact that they are at the center of the investigation into the scheme, Reuters reports. Police said the ticketing ring planned on hiking the price of ticket to make as much as a $3.09 million profit.
A Brazilian judge also ordered the seizure of the passports of stand-in OCI President Willie O'Brien, Vice-President John Delaney, and an OCI Personal Assistant Linda O'Reilly. They had already left Brazil by the time this order was released.
Rio police say the ticketing scam was run through Ireland’s official Olympic game ticket retailer, Dublin-based PRO10 Sports Management. Police said PRO10 was set up as a substitute for THG with the intention of rerouting tickets intended for the OCI to other company. THG would then sell the tickets they received from PRO10 hospitality packages based around Olympic tourism.
A judge has ordered the arrest of four other THG executives in relation to the scam.
Police seized more than 1,000 tickets from THG Sports during two separate raid in Rio. PRO10 and THG have denied wrongdoing. THG claimed that the tickets were being held legally on behalf of PRO10.
Similarly, Hickey’s lawyer, Rio-based Arthur Lavigne, had denied all allegations. He told the Irish Independent Hickey was arrested “under mere assumptions” and said the police probe “has no legal support.”
Rio police claim that Hickey attempted to evade officers when they attempted to arrest him at the the Hotel Windsor Marapendi, in the Tijuca district, on Wednesday, Aug 17. Police said Hickey’s wife, Sylviane, told them her husband had already left the country. The police found Hickey next door.
Hickey’s lawyers deny these claims. Their statement reads: "Mr Hickey did not try to escape as informed by the police. He was sleeping already for two days in one of the three rooms that were allocated to him and his family, due to an insomnia, and he did not want to disturb his wife.
"It would be ridiculous to try to escape and go to the next room, which was officially booked to him... The video shot during his arrest shows that he was awakening at that very same time, wearing a robe.
"His wife was took [taken] by surprise with almost 10 men standing on her door at 6am, and panicked. Mr Hickey did not resist to the arrest order, and all the rest is unreal story told to make the headlines."
Hickey remained in Bangu prison and according to a senior manager of Rio’s judicial processing it will be at least this Friday before his case is heard.
Hickey’s lawyer confirmed "The judiciary recess ended today, and the prosecutor has not yet presented his case before the judge, so it will not be possible for the judge to whom the case will be assigned to already be aware of the matter."