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Monday 5 December 2016

Fifa's Jack Warner 'investigated over missing Haiti earthquake money'

Harriett Alexander

Published 09/06/2015 | 16:05

Ex-Fifa vice president Jack Warner
Ex-Fifa vice president Jack Warner

Jack Warner, the former vice president of Fifa, has been accused of diverting aid from Haiti into his own bank accounts.

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Mr Warner, 72, visited Haiti in 2010 in the aftermath of the earthquake which killed over 200,000 people and razed much of the impoverished country.

The Trinidad and Tobago football chief, who now finds himself at the centre of the international scandal enveloping world football, was given a $750,000 (£490,000) sum from Fifa and the Korean Football Association to help rebuild the country after the disaster.

"I left those guys with a sense of hope," he said after his visit. "I left a country with a sense of hope."

Estimates at the time put the cost of rebuilding Haiti at between $8 and $14 billion.

Yet documents obtained by the BBC show that Mr Warner asked for the money to be paid into his own private bank account. The money was labelled "personal use". The BBC said that the money has not been accounted for.

Warner is on bail in Trinidad after he was indicted by United States authorities over allegations of racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracies spanning 24 years.

"Jack Warner was the most powerful man in the Caribbean," a source said. "Given his power in Trinidad, he'd get transactions done that ordinary folks could not."

The BBC said that 75 bank accounts in the name of Mr Warner were being investigated.

Mr Warner denies all the allegations against him. He claims he is the victim of a conspiracy.

Chuck Blazer, the American whistle­blower, has said that he and others took bribes totalling $10 million (£6.5 million) for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup and an undisclosed sum for Morocco’s unsuccessful bid to host the 1998 tournament.

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