Brazil police say Rio Olympics were bought in corrupt scheme

Brazil police say Rio Olympics were bought in corrupt scheme

Carlos Nuzman, president of the Brazilian Olympic committee, is driven from his home en route to the Federal Police office, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazilian prosecutors allege that Nuzman helped secure the votes of African IOC members during the bidding process for the 2016 Olympics and that Soares laundered the money used to pay them off via a sophisticated scheme centered in the British Virgin Islands and using bank accounts in the United States, Antigua and Barbuda, according to O Globo.

"In this context and putting all the elements together, we can come to the conclusion that Sergio Cabral and his criminal organization, including Arthur Soares, effectively bought the vote for Rio de Janeiro to host the Olympic Games", she said.

Prosecutor Fabiana Schneider said that concession and construction interests would stop at nothing to bring the Olympics to Rio, as they stood to reap major profits. Cabral is already in jail on a separate corruption charge.

Mr Hickey had been forced to remain in Brazil on his release from prison after his arrest during last year's Olympic Games.

Nuzman, 75, was one of the driving forces behind bringing the games to Rio, and was an International Olympic Committee member for 12 years.

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Economist Andrew Zimbalist, who authored the 2016 book "Circus Maximus:The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup", told AP that the revelation "is quite damaging" because "the International Olympic Committee tried to say goodbye to Rio in August 2016, but the issues arising from the $20 billion plus extravaganza won't go away".

Nuzman, who was the pointman for Rio's successful bid to become the first South American host of the Olympics, left his house in Rio's posh Leblon neighborhood while police officers exited with bags of evidence.

According to the Federal Police, the bribes were offered through fictitious service provision contracts, the distribution of cash, deposits in bank accounts overseas and by covering personal expenditures.

The headquarters of Brazil's Olympic Committee was also raided as part of an operation named Unfair Play. In March 2016, a French newspaper report accuses Brazilian businessmen of making a payment to Papa Massata Diack, son of former International Association of Athletics Federations president Lamine Diack, three days before the vote.

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