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Whereabouts of 'fugitive' Cup executive a mystery

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 11, 2014 at 5:36 pm •  Published: July 11, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — The whereabouts of a "fugitive" hospitality executive accused of being a top figure in an illegal World Cup ticket-scalping scheme remain unknown, and Rio de Janeiro police said Friday they have alerted federal officers and Interpol in the event he tries to flee Brazil.

Ray Whelan, an executive with the MATCH group, left the Copacabana Palace hotel in Rio de Janeiro through a service entrance about an hour before police arrived to re-arrest him Thursday. He had been detained on Monday, but released on bail hours later.

Investigator Fabio Barucke said Whelan is considered a fugitive.

"We have security camera images of him exiting the hotel through a service door," Barucke said.

In a statement Friday, MATCH said it understood that Whelan's previous release did not restrict his movements, provided he stayed in Brazil.

"We do not believe that the term 'fugitive' is appropriate under the circumstances as he is presently with his lawyer," the statement said. "We understand that any accused in Brazil has the fundamental right to resist a coercion that he believes to be arbitrary and illegal."

MATCH said it had not spoken to Whelan or his attorney, Fernando Fernandes, since they left the hotel and therefore could not comment as to the circumstances.

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