Fifa officials arrested in bribes probe

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Officers swooped on the five-star Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich and detained the suspects on Wednesday morning.

It has been reported that Fifa vice-president Jeffrey Webb is among them.

However, it is understood that Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who is standing for re-election on Friday, is not among those arrested.

The operation comes as part of international investigation into bribes worth 100 million dollars or £65m spanning three decades.

According to The New York Times, the charges include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

A statement from the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) read: “The six soccer functionaries were arrested today in Zurich by the Zurich Cantonal Police.

“The bribery suspects – representatives of sports media and sports promotion firms – are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries – delegates of Fifa (Federation Internationale de Football Association) and other functionaries of Fifa sub-organisations – totalling more than $100m US.

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“In return, it is believed that they received media, marketing, and sponsorship rights in connection with soccer tournaments in Latin America.

“According to the US request, these crimes were agreed and prepared in the US, and payments were carried out via US banks.”

It added that the six suspects will be questioned later on Wednesday and said their deportation could be sanctioned immediately.

“The Zurich Cantonal Police will question the detainees today on behalf of the FOJ regarding the US request for their arrest,” police said.

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“A simplified procedure will apply for wanted persons who agree to their immediate extradition. The FOJ can immediately approve their extradition to the US and order its execution.

“However, if a wanted person opposes their extradition, the FOJ will invite the US to submit a formal extradition request within the deadline of 40 days specified in the bilateral extradition treaty.”

Source: UTV

Pic source: Fifa

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