Brazil's Olympic head arrested on corruption charges

Brazil's Olympic head arrested on corruption charges

Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman was arrested by Brazil's Federal Police on charges of corruption Thursday, according to state-run news agency Agencia Brasil.

Nuzman and Gryner "will be charged with the crimes of corruption, money laundering and criminal association", police said in a statement.

The officers also arrested the Rio 2016 committee's chief operating officer, Leonardo Gryner.

"In the past 10-22 years of his presidency of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Nuzman increased his wealth by 457 percent, without a clear indication of [where this came from], as well as maintained a part of his wealth hidden in Switzerland", prosecutors said, according to the Financial Times. His passport had been confiscated.

The arrest is part of the corruption investigation, known as Operation Unfair Play.

The head of the Brazilian National Olympic Committee has been accused of bribing members of the International Olympic Committee.

Nuzman appeared relaxed and chatted with the agents as he entered the police station.

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In addition to the current evidence against him, Nuzman also appeared to respond to the September allegations with freaky 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.

Nuzman's lawyer told Brazilian press that the measures against his client were unusual and harsh. "For example, he only declared 16 bars of gold, each weighing one kilogramme... on September 20, 2017, after the start of Operation Unfair Play". "It is a hard and unusual measure in due process".

"Given the new facts, the International Olympic Committee ethics commission may consider provisional measures while respecting Mr. Nuzman's right to be heard", said the statement, which did not offer more details.

Marcelo Bretas, the federal judge who authorized his arrest, said new evidence indicated that Nuzman's role in the alleged vote-buying scheme was "more relevant" than initially thought.

The group "will not comment further on this matter until a recommendation is issued by the IOC Ethics Commission", and it "reiterates that the presumption of innocence prevails".

The IOC investigation will be the first test of the newly elected members of the Ethics Commission including chair Ban Ki Moon. It's alleged Carlos Nuzman was involved in a vote-buying scheme.

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