Brazilian Olympics chief arrested in bribery probe

Brazilian Olympics chief arrested in bribery probe

Brazilian Olympics chief arrested in bribery probe

In the latest development Thursday, Brazilian authorities arrested Carlos Nuzman, president of the country's Olympic committee and a key figure in Rio de Janeiro's winning bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. His house was raided last month by Brazilian police in coordination with French prosecutors, leading to the seizure of multiple passports and around $150,000 in four currencies.

According to officials, Nuzman was arrested for attempting to hide property last month after police executed a search warrant at his Brazil home.

Nuzman appeared relaxed and chatted with the agents as he entered the police station.

According to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, prosecutors allege that Nuzman secured $2 million from Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho, a Miami businessman, to be paid to Papa Massata Diack, the son of Senegalese IOC member Lamine Diack.

Included in those hidden assets by Nuzman were a reported 16 kilograms of gold in a safe in Switzerland. About two weeks after being held for questioning, Nuzman amended his tax declaration to add about $600,000 in income, the order said.

"The Olympic Games were used as a great stepping stone to corruption", prosecutor Fabiana Schneider, one of the officials responsible for the operation, was quoted as saying to monthly news magazine Carta Capital. "It is a hard and unusual measure in due process".

Brazilian authorities have said the behind-the-scenes dealings to win the vote amounted to a "criminal organization", led by Sergio Cabral, the former governor of Rio de Janeiro who has been jailed on a different corruption conviction.

Ban Ki-moon, chief of the IOC's ethics commission, on Thursday also pledged cooperation and asked Brazilian authorities to supply all the available information on the case.

The IOC will not comment further on this matter until a recommendation is issued by the IOC Ethics Commission. The Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo notes that Nuzman was reportedly planning to demand the International Olympic Committee "provide him with a financial bailout" given the exponential debt left behind by the event. Nuzman, an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee, would enjoy the presumption of innocence.

"Given the new facts, the IOC Ethics Commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr Nuzman's right to be heard", the IOC said in a statement. It's alleged Carlos Nuzman was involved in a vote-buying scheme.

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