Sept. 5 (UPI) — Brazil’s federal police conducted raids on the country’s Olympic committee and the home of the head of the organization Tuesday in a bribery investigation.
Prosecutors said Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the chief of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, acted as an intermediary to secure votes for Brazil in the International Olympic Committee in exchange for cash, The New York Times reported. The scheme allegedly targeted the support of IOC member Lamine Diack.
Authorities questioned Nuzman and took his passport. Police also seized luxury apartments, vehicles and aircrafts in the raids.
The IOC selected Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Summer Olympics over competing cities Madrid, Chicago and Tokyo.
Nuzman, 72, “was the bridge that linked the criminal scheme together,” federal prosecutor Fabiana Schneider said.
Nuzman’s lawyer, Sergio Mazzillo, said his client “didn’t participate in any irregularities; there isn’t strong evidence against him.”
Police, though, said there is “strong evidence” of a vote-buying scheme.
Authorities issued a warrant for the arrest of Miami-based businessman Arthur Soares Filho, who is allegedly linked to a $2 million payment to Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, the BBC reported.
Authorities have not filed charges against Nuzman. U.S. and French police were assisting in the investigation.