Brazilian Police on the Hunt for ‘fugitive’ Whelan after Ticketing Touting Arrest

July 11, 2014

Ray Whelan, a company director of FIFA partner Match Hospitality, has been labelled a ‘fugitive’ after going on the run following his arrest by Brazilian police as part of an investigation into allegations of illegal ticket sales at the World Cup.

Whelan was one of 11 people arrested last week. He was later released without charge but had to surrender his passport as investigations continued.

Now the authorties in Brazil say he has escaped from his hotel in Rio de Janeiro – and is being treated as a fugitive as they looked to re-arrest him.

Police investigator Fabio Barucke said that Whelan left the Copacabana Palace hotel shortly before police arrived to re-arrest him.

“He’s now considered a fugitive,” Barucke said. “We have security camera images of him exiting the hotel through a service door.”

On Monday, Whelan was detained at the Copacabana Palace by police who seized tickets for World Cup matches; he was released early on Tuesday.

Match Hospitality denied any wrongdoing by Whelan and said he was willing to cooperate with any investigation, confident that it would exonerate him of any wrongdoing.

Jaime Byrom, executive chairman of Match, and Whelan’s brother-in-law, said: “Notwithstanding our belief that the action taken against Mr Whelan was illegal and baseless, MATCH Services and I personally remain totally committed to assist the authorities in FIFA’s fight against illegal ticket sales.”

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