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Interpol after Argentine promoters linked to FIFA corruption case

Saturday, May 30th 2015 - 01:39 UTC
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Judge Martínez de Giorgi issued arrest warrants after prosecutor Delgado filed three writs arguing that the accused should not be exempt from arrest. Judge Martínez de Giorgi issued arrest warrants after prosecutor Delgado filed three writs arguing that the accused should not be exempt from arrest.
Alejandro Burzaco, Hugo Jinkis and son Mariano Jinkis were indicted by the US on Wednesday as being involved in a major FIFA corruption scheme Alejandro Burzaco, Hugo Jinkis and son Mariano Jinkis were indicted by the US on Wednesday as being involved in a major FIFA corruption scheme

Argentine judge Marcelo Martínez de Giorgi has approved the arrest of three Argentine business leaders named in a corruption scandal engulfing world football and facing US extradition requests, though he acknowledged he did not know if they were in the country. The businessmen were considered fugitives from justice on Thursday after Interpol was unable to locate them at their residences.

 Their legal situation also worsened after Argentina's tax office AFIP filed a criminal complaint against Alejandro Burzaco, Hugo Jinkis and his son Mariano Jinkis for alleged tax evasion. The three were indicted by the US on Wednesday as being involved in a major corruption scheme involving FIFA and the illicit awarding of television rights for soccer tournaments.

The father and son are president and vice-president, respectively, of the telecommunications marketing company Full Play Group SA, a large sports-oriented multinational based in Argentina.

The details of the accusations, revealed on Wednesday by the multi-discipline team of US prosecutors and investigators based in New York, point to the payment of up to US$150 million in bribes and kickbacks by corporate chiefs to FIFA officials over a 24-year period.

The indictment states that Burzaco and the Jinkis’ led their companies to form a new entity known as Datisa, which entered into a US$317.5 million contract with CONMEBOL (South American football association) to obtain exclusive worldwide rights to the 2015, 2019 and 2023 Copa America tournaments, according to the indictment.

Datisa later entered into a US$35 million contract with the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football, (CONCACAF) to acquire rights for another tournament, the Copa America Centenario.

However Torneos on Wednesday denied any involvement in corrupt schemes to win contracts and said it was willing to work with judicial authorities.

Amid speculation that Burzaco was out of the country when news of the indictment broke, and given that Argentine courts are more lenient than their US counterparts and that extradition can be waived if there is local prosecution, Judge Claudio Bonadío has requested checks on immigration records to determine if Burzaco re-entered the country.

The CEO of Torneos (formerly known as TyC), Alejandro Burzaco is the brother of Eugenio Burzaco, the former Metropolitan Police head who was appointed by City Mayor Mauricio Macri.

The arrest warrants, green-lighted by Judge Marcelo Martínez de Giorgi on Thursday before he had the file re-assigned to another judge, were issued after prosecutor Federico Delgado filed three writs in which he argued that the accused should not be exempt from arrest.

Delgado wrote in identical briefs that in light of the events described by the US such as “the multiple criminal maneuvers, the millions at stake, the hiatus that apparently took place between the planning of the events and its implementation in various countries” there were reasons to deny the request by the defendant’s defense lawyers to exempt them from arrest. The prosecutor added that in light of the economic resources available to the accused there were reasons to believe that they would pose a flight risk. Martínez de Giorgi agreed with the reasoning, thus facilitating the filing of the arrest warrants.

Should Burzaco and the Jinkis be arrested, they may still be released on bail pending trial or extradition to the United States.

According to the applicable extradition protocols, if and when they are arrested the defendants will be asked if they accept extradition to the US for charges of fraud and money-laundering. Should they not agree, an extradition process will begin.

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  • Frank

    So 3 of the 14 ( 15 if you include Blatter) are why are we not surprised..

    May 30th, 2015 - 05:45 am 0
  • Conqueror

    @1. And the majority of the rest are from Central, Latin and South America. We all know where corruption originates!

    May 30th, 2015 - 10:22 am 0
  • chronic

    The rotting roadkillians will persecute whatever soccer related entities and individuals the prosecution of which serves their larger political interests to have weakened or destroyed for this is in essence the rotting roadkillian path to success. Fairplay and equal footing have nothing to do with the settlement of such matters by rotting roadkillians.

    Many lessor countries feel that the soccer arrests are a cultural attack on their nations. Soccer is a fairly egalitarian pursuit. The equipment required is modest and participants have to be neither large or particularly strong or even the fastest as is necessary in basketball, football and field/ track for instance. It is inherently a team sport and personal/independent acheivement may even be counterproductive to success of the group. Many people find soccer inherently boring particularly without a personal or nationalistic connection to the enterprise but it continues to be a pretext for the lower incomed socio-economic groups to bond and act out collective frustations due in large part to their own station in life. Most soccer fans don't begrudge the odd promoter or coach or player a little graft or Peruvian marching dust because this is not uncommon in their own political ruling class. If it is appropriate for one group who are they to deny the other? And perhaps one day - if the stars align and they play the game (be it political or soccer) just right - they too will be able to partake of the bountiful fruit that is borne of corruption.
    Internationally #107 with a 34 score.
    Enrique Massot: “Here It is, all the issues of a nation of forty-some million people explained in just seven words. We are all liars.”

    May 30th, 2015 - 01:56 pm 0
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