Brazil police raids amid 2016 Olympics corruption probe
The President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee was pictured being lead into Rio federal police headquarters on Tuesday
Brazilian police have raided 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 president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) president has had his home raided and his assets frozen.
The “Operation Unfair Play” operation is being conduction in conjunction with French and US police.
Brazil’s federal police and a high-profile French anti-corruption judge were pictured outside of BOC president Carlos Nuzman’s home on Tuesday morning.
Mr Nuzman has led the BOC since 1995, and headed the Rio De Janeiro Organising Committee for the 2016 Games.
Local reports say he is accused of acting as an intermediary for a “cash for votes” scheme targeting African delegates of the IOC in the run up to the 2016 allocation.
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 won the games by 66 votes to 32 in a third round ballot in an IOC vote in 2009, after initially losing the first round of voting to Madrid.
‘Large corruption racket’
A French financial prosecutor statement confirmed on Tuesday that the son of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president, and influential members of the IOC, were at the centre of an investigation into a “large corruption racket”.
“There are several consistent indications that payments have been made in return for the votes of IAAF and International Olympic Committee members over the designation of host cities for the biggest global sporting events,” the statement said.
Brazilian police said on Tuesday that 70 police officers, joined by French officials, had conducted of search and seizure operations at 11 sites.
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.
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.”
They had previously confirmed in March that an IOC ethics commission was “working in co-operation with the [French] prosecutor” after initial reports in French media.
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.