Three Irish Olympic Officials Have Passports And Devices Seized By Police In Rio

Three Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) officials have had their passports, phones and laptops seized by Brazilian police as part of the investigation into the alleged illegal sale of tickets for the Olympic Games.

No arrests have been made but the officials were asked and agreed to attend police stations in Rio for questioning on Tuesday, the OCI said in a statement.

Police arrived at the OCI offices in the Olympic village and its accommodation outside the village on Sunday morning, where they met staff.

Officers also seized unused tickets that were part of the OCI's allocation for athletes' families.

The raid comes days after the arrest of senior Olympic official Pat Hickey.

The 71-year-old was detained at a hotel in the Barra da Tijuca area on Thursday and later taken to Samaritano hospital with chest pain before he underwent cardiac tests.

After being discharged he was taken to a police station for questioning in connection with the investigation.

Mr Hickey has been formally accused under Brazilian law of ticket touting, running a cartel and illicit marketing.

This is a stage in the legal process that is not equivalent to being charged in British or Irish law but is a preliminary step in that direction. He has denied any wrongdoing.

A judge is due to be appointed this week to head an independent inquiry in Ireland into the alleged ticketing scandal.

Dublin's Sports Minister Shane Ross returned home early from Brazil to meet with Ireland's Attorney General about what could be done to get to the bottom of the controversy.

The Olympic Council of Ireland has said it will fully co-operate with the Irish inquiry.

Irishman Kevin Mallon, a director of THG Sports, which specialises in corporate and sports hospitality and is owned by Ipswich Town FC owner Marcus Evans, has been in custody in Brazil since August 5 over the affair.

Mr Mallon was arrested after police seized Olympic tickets in a Rio hotel, some of which were part of the Irish allocation and some for the opening and closing ceremonies and the football final.

The authorised ticket reseller (ATR) contracted by the OCI is Dublin-based PRO10 Sports Management.

The company said it had legitimate customers for its tickets and Mr Mallon was acting as a collection agent for them in Rio, meeting clients.

THG and PRO10 have denied any wrongdoing over ticket sales.