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Home / Local News / Jeffrey Webb among FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland

Jeffrey Webb among FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland

Several top FIFA officials have been arrested in Switzerland over allegations of being involved in paying bribes adding up to more than US $100m.
Swiss authorities detained six officials in an early-morning operation in Zurich on suspicion of receiving and paying bribes, the AP news agency reported.
According to Press Association Sport, one among those detained in Zurich was Cayman Islands national Jeffrey Webb, FIFA Vice-President. Jeffrey Webb is also the President of CONCACAF and President of the Cayman Islands Football Asociation (CIFA). The arrests were carried out by Swiss authorities in order to extradite the officials to the United States, the Swiss government said.
According to the NY Times, the charges, backed by an F.B.I. investigation, allege widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades, involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals, according to three law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the case.
The official said the soccer officials charged are Jeffrey Webb, Eugenio Figueredo, Jack Warner, Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Rafael Esquivel, José Maria Marin and Nicolás Leoz.
Charges were also expected against the sports-marketing executives Alejandro Burzaco, Aaron Davidson, Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis. Authorities also charged José Margulies as an intermediary who facilitated illegal payments.
US officials suspect the crimes were agreed to and prepared in the US, and payments carried out via US banks, according to the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ).
The FOJ said the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating the individuals on suspicion of accepting bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s till now.
Switzerland’s justice ministry said in a statement: “The bribery suspects – representatives of sports media and sports promotion firms – are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries (FIFA delegates) and other functionaries of FIFA sub-organisations – totaling more than $100 million.”
The arrests took place after more than a dozen plain-clothed Swiss police officers arrived unannounced at the Baur au Lac hotel.
The officials were in Switzerland ahead of an election which was expected to see FIFA President Sepp Blatter reinstated for a fifth term.
FIFA told AP that Blatter was not among the men arrested.
A FIFA spokesman said: “We have seen the media reports. We are seeking to clarify the situation. We will not comment at this stage.”
The NY Times said: “The charges include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering, and officials said they targeted members of FIFA’s powerful executive committee.”
A police source told the NY Times: “We’re struck by just how long this went on for and how it touched nearly every part of what FIFA did.

About Deon Ebanks

Mr Deon Ebanks is the Publisher and Executive Editor for The Cayman Reporter. Deon brings over 10 years business experience gained from working in the financial services and banking industry and advising and providing assurance services to clients of a Big Four accounting firm.

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