Blues owner Marcus Evans facing charges over Rio Olympic Games ticket touting claims

Marcus Evans

Marcus Evans - Credit: Warren Page

Brazilian prosecutors are reported to have filed charges against the owner of Ipswich Town Football Club Marcus Evans in connection with Olympic ticket touting allegations.

Mr Evans was among 10 people said to have been charged on Tuesday in a case that developed during last month's Rio Games. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Marcos Kac, a state prosecutor, said that after reviewing the police investigation he had decided to charge the Olympic Council of Ireland's (OCI) former president Pat Hickey and nine others with ticket touting, conspiracy and ambush marketing.

'We found enough evidence linking Hickey to this plot to sell tickets by a company that was not authorised,' Mr Kac told The Associated Press. 'These are tickets that were sold for up to 8,000 dollars (£5,976).'

Police in Brazil had arrested Kevin Mallon, 36, a director of THG, Mr Evans' sports hospitality company, on August 5, the day of the opening ceremony, when officers reportedly seized more than 800 high-end tickets for the Games.

Police investigators said the scheme was planned to make three million US dollars (£2.2million).

Some of the tickets were reported to have been marked for the OCI, which denied wrong-doing.

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The OCI's authorised ticket re-seller PRO10 Sports said Mr Mallon was facilitating the collection of the tickets by its own customers.

Mr Hickey, 71, was later arrested in his hotel in Rio in connection with the allegations. Three further members of the OCI had their passports seized by police as part of the investigation.

Both Mr Hickey and Mr Mallon were released on bail last month.

The latest development could see prosecutors seek Mr Evans' extradition to Brazil to face the charges.

There is no extradition treaty between Brazil and Ireland, where Mr Evans spends most of his time.

However a spokesman for the Irish Department of Justice said: 'Both countries have previously stated that they will consider extradition requests on a reciprocal basis'.

Robert Roscoe, solicitor with London law firm Victor Lissack Roscoe & Coleman, said that if Mr Evans was in the UK, Brazilian prosecutors would need to make a request to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd for his extradition.

According to the 2003 Extradition Act, Brazil is a 'category two territory' meaning that extraditions can be considered if there is sufficient evidence.

Mr Roscoe said extradition would only be agreed for offences punishable with a sentence of more than 12 months' imprisonment and not the death penalty.

A judge would also have to be satisfied the conduct amounts to an extradition offence and whether extradition would breach Mr Evans' human rights. Mr Roscoe said it was 'a lengthy process'.

A statement issued by THG said the company 'has acted at all times lawfully and any suggestion to the contrary is just not true'.

Ipswich Town FC added: 'We are aware of it. It's not a matter for the football club directly, it's a matter for THG and they are dealing with it.'

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