For FIFA – The chickens are finally coming home to roost as Swiss FOJ affirms arrests

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10.03AM / DailyMail

Six football officials including FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb were arrested and detained pending extradition to the United States after Swiss police raided a luxury Zurich hotel on Wednesday morning.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice have opened criminal proceedings in connection with the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on allegations of 'criminal mismanagement and money laundering.'

The case also involves bribes 'totaling more than $100m (£65m)' linked to commercial deals dating back to the 1990s for football tournaments in the United States and Latin America.

FIFA insiders are reporting that president Sepp Blatter is actively lobbying for a postponement of Friday's election, given that his favoured successor, Webb, is currently under arrest.

Electronic data and documents were also seized in a raid on FIFA's headquarters, Swiss prosecutors said.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said in a statement that US authorities suspect the six officials of having received or paid bribes totalling millions and that the crimes were agreed to and prepared in the US, and payments carried out via US banks. The FOJ said the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating the individuals on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and now.



STATEMENT BY SWISS FEDERAL OFFICE OF JUSTICE
'By order of the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), six soccer officials were arrested in Zurich today (Wednesday) and detained pending extradition.

'The US authorities suspect them of having received bribes totaling in the USD millions.

The six soccer functionaries were arrested today in Zurich by the Zurich Cantonal Police.

'The FOJ’s arrest warrants were issued further to a request by the US authorities. The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating these individuals on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and the present day.

'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 (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and other functionaries of FIFA sub-organizations – totaling more than USD 100 million.

'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.

'The Zurich Cantonal Police will question the detainees today on behalf of the FOJ regarding the US request for their arrest. 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.

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