Wednesday 28 September 2016

'You can use them all' - Hickey's deal on tickets with boss of 'touting' firm

Rio police claim to have emails from computer of OCI chief which show contact between pair from 2010

Cathal McMahon

Published 24/08/2016 | 02:30

Pat Hickey
Pat Hickey

Police have released emails which allegedly show Pat Hickey offered tickets to Marcus Evans's THG for the opening and closing ceremonies of Rio 2016.

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In an email, dated August 3, Mr Hickey allegedly told Mr Evans, the owner of THG Sports Tours Ltd, that he can use all of the National Olympic Committee tickets allocated.

Pro10 was the Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) for the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI).

In the email, Mr Hickey told Mr Evans, the owner of Ipswich Town FC, that he had no use for the tickets and he could "use them all".

"We have tickets left that Pro 10 don't want so before we get rid of them have you any use for them," Mr Hickey asked Mr Evans.

The OCI previously told the Irish Independent on August 12 that all tickets were only given to Pro10, the authorised ticket reseller and not THG.

THG was formerly the ATR for the OCI for the London Olympics but was not approved for Rio 2016 by the OCI.

Police allege that Irish company Pro10 was created to act as a bridge between OCI and THG after this.

Police officer Aloysio Falcao also displayed an email, taken from Mr Hickey's computer, from 2010, which shows contact between the pair dated back to then.

Police also confirmed they are investigating a major money laundering operation to establish the financial link between those involved in the alleged crime.

Mr Falcao explained: "For the investigation it is very important for police to look at the money laundering aspect of the investigation.

"We will be forwarding all these documents to show that there is a huge mark-up between the face value and the price they were being sold for."

At a police conference in Rio last night, officers also confirmed an OCI member, Dermot Henihan, who had his passport seized has been told he is free to return home after meeting with officers, while his colleagues have rescheduled their meeting for tomorrow.

General Secretary Mr Henihan met with officers in 'Police City' and a short time later senior officers confirmed he had no role in an alleged international ticket touting ring.

Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty and CEO Stephen Martin were also due to meet police but the pair have rescheduled their meeting for tomorrow.

Speaking at a police conference, Ricardo Barboza de Sousa said Mr Henihan's role was "only bureaucratic".

Commissioner Barboza said: "Today Stephen Martin and Kevin Kilty asked to reschedule to Thursday to allow them to meet with lawyers.

"Henihan said he signed the document for bureaucratic reasons. His involvement has been excluded.

"For us there is no link in terms of the content of material we have. His role was bureaucratic only.

"There was no decision power behind this."

Commissioner Barboza said the two other executives remain suspects until their meeting tomorrow.

Police claimed 228 tickets were found in a safe in Mr Kilty's room.

Commissioner Barboza said: "Kevin Kilty said these tickets were destined for athletes but we know that every athlete is entitled to two tickets for their sport.

"We will talk to the Rio organisers to confirm this."

Police secured a warrant to seize the passports of six OCI executives following interviews with Pat Hickey in the last week.

Police sources have confirmed they sought to interview Mr Henihan, Mr Kilty and Mr Martin to establish what they know about an alleged ticket touting ring.

Police are seeking to establish if the decision to grant the ticketing licence for Rio 2016 first to THG and secondly to PRO10 was mutual or made independently by Mr Hickey.

According to court records Mr Hickey, who temporarily stepped down as OCI president after his arrest last week, has claimed it was a collective decision.

Irish Independent

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