Brazil police arrest Olympic committee chief in bribery investigation

Isaac Cain
October 6, 2017

Carlos Nuzman, 75 years old, was arrested on Thursday in Brazil.

On Thursday, Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and Rio Games was arrested by Brazilian authorities for allegedly conspiring to bribe members of the International Olympic Committee to buy their votes for Rio getting the 2016 Games.

According to the Federal Prosecutors' office Nuzman and Gryner were intermediaries in a vote-buying scheme to have the city of Rio de Janeiro named as the host of the 2016 Olympic Games.

According to officials, Nuzman was arrested for attempting to hide property last month after police executed a search warrant at his Brazil home. His passport had been confiscated.

"The Olympic Games were used as a great stepping stone to corruption", prosecutor Fabiana Schneider, one of the officials responsible for the operation, was quoted as saying to monthly news magazine Carta Capital.

The investigation into Nuzman and Gryner is part of Operation Unfair Play, which Brazilian police organized to look into alleged corruption schemes involving the Rio Olympics.

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Nuzman sits in the back of a police auto.

The assets include 16 kg in gold bars deposited in Switzerland, Bretas said.

Nuzman's lawyer told Brazilian press that the measures against his client were unusual and harsh.

In addition to the current evidence against him, Nuzman also appeared to respond to the September allegations with weird financial behavior, namely amending his income tax information to suddenly reveal a 457 percent growth in his total assets, including the possession of 16 kilogram-sized gold bars stored in a lockbox in Switzerland. "It is a hard and unusual measure in due process".

Brazilian authorities have said the behind-the-scenes dealings to win the vote amounted to a "criminal organisation". Nuzman is an honorary International Olympic Committee member after his membership ended in 2013.

The ethics commission is chaired by former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon and it can recommend action against individuals to the IOC's executive board. Given the new facts, the IOC Ethics Commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr Nuzman's right to be heard. "It also reiterates that the presumption of innocence prevails". Authorities say he was the mastermind behind the vote buying plot.

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