RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 17 (UPI) — A member of the International Olympic Committee has been arrested in Rio de Janeiro for allegedly scalping tickets.
Patrick Hickey, 71, of Ireland, is suspected of illegally passing on tickets for Rio’s Olympic games that could be sold for high prices — up to $7,800, O Globo reports. Hickey heads the Olympic Council of Ireland and serves as president of the European Olympic Committees, an agency that consolidates Europe’s 50 national Olympic committees.
“We are aware of an Irish citizen having been arrested in Rio,” Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told BBC News. “The department, through its consulate in Rio, is following up and stands ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”
Brazilian authorities said they believe the case against Kevin James Mallon, the director of sports hospitality company THG Sports who is also from Ireland and also accused of ticket scalping, is related to the case against Hickey.
Mallon was arrested Aug. 5 and found to be holding more than 800 top-class tickets to the Rio games.
Hickey is being treated in a local hospital after falling ill following his arrest.
“The OCI is aware of the media stories regarding Pat Hickey and we are seeking total clarity on the situation before we comment further,” the Olympic Council of Ireland said in a statement.