CHAMPIONSHIP

Ipswich owner wanted in Brazil on ticket touting charges

Brazilian police have requested arrest warrants for the owner of Ipswich Town and three other sports executives over allegations they illegally resold Olympics tickets at inflated prices.

Ipswich owner wanted in Brazil on ticket touting charges
ANDREW WINNING REUTERS

Brazilian police said on Monday they have requested arrest warrants for the owner of Ipswich Town and three other sports executives over allegations they illegally resold Olympics tickets at sky-high prices.

Ipswich owner Marcus Evans is accused of participating in a scheme by British firm THG to illegally resell tickets to the Rio Games at a steep mark-up in the form of VIP packages. Irish national Kevin James Mallon, a director at THG, was arrested in the case a week ago.

Besides British national Evans, the latest batch of accused includes an Irishman, a Dutchman and a second Briton, said inspector Ricardo Barbosa of the police anti-fraud unit.

“We have asked the courts to issue four additional arrest warrants”, he told a press conference. “Since (the suspects) are apparently not in Brazil, Interpol will receive their arrest warrants”.

He called Evans “a multi-millionaire” who has had more than 50 companies registered to him, including TV stations and Championship club Ipswich.

Chief investigator Aloysio Falcao said Evans was authorized to sell official tickets for the London Olympics in 2012. “But today, in 2016, he is not authorized. To hide that fact, he sold them in ticket-plus-hotel packages, VIP packages, to make a lot more money on the ticket”, he said.

THG also ran into trouble with the Brazilian authorities during the 2014 World Cup. Its manager, James Sinton, was arrested at a Rio de Janeiro hotel on charges of illegally reselling tickets through a similar VIP scheme. The Briton paid a fine and promptly left the country. For the Olympics, police said THG was offering tickets for the opening ceremony for $8,000, when the highest official ticket price was $1,300.