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Interpol issues arrest warrants for 2 former FIFA officials, 4 corporate executives

Upon a request from the United States authorities Interpol issued on Wednesday international arrest warrants for two former FIFA officials and four corporate executives "for charges including racketeering, conspiracy and corruption," the international criminal police organization said in its statement.

According to the statement, the two former FIFA officials, who received the so-called "red notices" from Interpol are:

1. Jack Warner, Trinidad & Tobago national, former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser

2. Nicolos Leoz, Paraguayan national, former FIFA executive committee member and CONMEBOL president

The four corporate executives on the list are Alejandro Burzaco (Argentine national), Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis (Argentine nationals), Jose Margulies (Brazilian national also known as Jose Lazaro).

The 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 28-29 was marred this year by arrests of FIFA officials earlier in the week.

An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA on Wednesday morning last week as seven of the organization's high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges. The scandal involves two separate criminal proceedings.

Firstly, the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York is conducting a criminal investigation into the awarding of media, marketing and sponsorship rights for soccer tournaments in the United States and Latin America. Secondly, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General is conducting a criminal investigation into the selection of Russia as the host country for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar as the host country for 2022.

The arrests of the seven FIFA top officials were made by the Swiss police at the request from the US authorities and they are now facing extradition to the United States.

The US Department of Justice said in its statement on Wednesday that a total of 14 people (nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives) were indicted for racketeering conspiracy and corruption.

On top of all, shortly after FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his plans to resign on Tuesday, some media reports informed that the FIFA chief was being investigated by the FBI and US prosecutors as part of the corruption case in the organization.

Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term last Friday, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote. However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on Tuesday, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate at FIFA extraordinary elective Congress.

[Source: Itar Tass, Paris, 03Jun15]

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Informes sobre corrupción y crimen organizado
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