BREAKING: Footage of OCI president Pat Hickey's arrest emerges online
THIS is the moment Pat Hickey, the president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, is confronted by Brazilian police investigating alleged illegal ticket sales at the Rio Olympics.
Police from Rio's Civil Police Fraud Unit went to Mr Hickey's hotel in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood of the Brazilian city this morning.
However, in a press conference this afternoon, police said - when they arrived at his hotel room - Mr Hickey's wife told them he had left the country.
Officers found Sylviane Hickey alone in the room but many of her husband's possessions still in the room.
This footage shows the moment when police eventually managed to track Mr Hickey to another, otherwise empty, room in the same hotel,registered in the name of his soon.
The 71-year-old answered the door naked, and was questioned after putting on dressing robe. He was later arrested, and taken to hospital as a precaution after mentioning he had a heart condition.
At the press conference, it was revealed that Mr Hickey is suspected of formation of a criminal association, sales of illegal ticketing and marketing without authorisation.
*The arrest of Pat Hickey took place at approximately 10am Irish time (6am local time) this morning
*There is evidence of emails and messages between Pat Hickey and Marcus Evans, the director of British company THG Sports
*After being arrested, Hickey cited an existing heart condition and was then brought to a hospital in the district of Barra in Rio
*The Brazilian police have warrants issued for three Pro 10 officials
Police executed a warrant to detain Hickey on suspicion he was aware that tickets from the OCI had ended up with THG Sports, a British company not accredited to sell Olympic tickets.
Detectives say they found emails on Mr Hickey’s phone to and from Marcus Evans, the owner of THG.
Mr Evans has repeatedly denied any impropriety. Mr Hickey has also denied any impropriety.
Another email, from a law firm, urged him to put Sports Minister Shane Ross “back in his box” ahead of a meeting between the two.
Police say they believe Pro 10 Sports Management, the current accredited reseller of Olympic tickets in Ireland, was created to allow the diversion of Irish Olympic tickets to THG, which sold them illegally in Brazil for up to 18 times face value, police said.
Police in Brazil have also obtained court orders to detain three directors of Pro 10: Briton Michael Glynn and the Irishmen Ken Murray and Eamonn Collins.
Mr Hickey has previously denied any wrongdoing in relation to the ticket sales. He is president of the European Olympic Committees, the body which gathers the continent's 50 national Olympic committees together.
He was a member of the IOC's coordination commission for the Rio Games, the body in charge of overseeing preparations for the first Olympics held in South America.
His arrest comes after police detained last week a director of international sports hospitality company THG Sports, Kevin Mallon, and a translator employed by the company, alleging that they could have made 10 million reais ($3 million) from buying tickets and reselling them at a higher price.
A Brazilian judge on Monday also ordered the arrest of four more THG Sports executives on accusations of fraudulent ticket sales at the Olympics. A police spokesman, however, said the four men could not be detained because they were not in Brazil.
THG has rejected the accusations against the company and Mallon, saying that more than 1,000 tickets seized by police were being held legally on behalf of authorised Irish reseller Pro 10 and criticising local Olympic organisers.
Hickey is a former judoka and is honorary life president of the Irish Judo Federation. He has been head of the OCI since 1989.
Hickey is also a senior vice president of the Association of National Olympic Committees. In 2015, Hickey led the first European Games organised by the EOC in Baku Azerbaijan.
Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe has confirmed this afternoon that the Government is aware of the arrest of an Irish citizen in Brazil.
"The only official information I have at the moment is that out ambassador in Brazil has confirmed to us that an Irish person has been arrested.
"That person was arrested this morning. I do not currently have information about who that person was or the circumstances of their arrest," Mr O'Donohoe said.
Asked if he has confidence in Mr Hickey's leadership of the OCI, the minister said that was a matter for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
"Ministers Ross and O'Donovan are currently making an assessment of the situation and I'll wait to hear back from them regarding their views on how this matter is being dealt with," he said.
Sports Minister Shane Ross has tweeted: "Shell shock here in Rio".
More to follow