World Cup 'scalper' surrenders

A British World Cup ticketing executive accused of involvement with a scalping network allegedly worth tens of millions of dollars turned himself in on Monday, authorities said.

Ray Whelan, a director of FIFA partner Match Services, who had left his Rio hotel before police could detain him last Thursday, surrendered to a judge in the city, Rio prosecutor Marcus Kac told AFP.

Police confirmed Whelan, 64, had been detained.

Authorities had been looking for Whelan after a judge ordered him and 10 other suspects to be held over a World Cup ticket fraud involving 1,000 tickets per match alleged to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

The group allegedly began its activities at the 2002 World Cup.

Attempts by the company to mount legal challenges to the arrest order against him foundered.

Whelan had already been detained by Brazilian police last Monday, but was released the following day.

Globo's G1 news portal quoted Whelan as having told his lawyer Fernando Fernandes that he could finally start seeking to clear his name.

The suspects in the case face charges of organized crime, illegal ticket sales, corruption, money laundering and tax fraud.

Match, the main provider of World Cup hospitality services, has denied any wrongdoing.

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