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World Cup ticket-scalping suspect surrenders

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 14, 2014 at 3:54 pm •  Published: July 14, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A top figure in an alleged illegal World Cup ticket-scalping scheme surrendered to Brazilian officials Monday, four days after police labeled him a fugitive, his lawyer said.

Ray Whelan, a British executive with the MATCH group, which owned the rights to sell World Cup hospitality packages, is accused by police of providing World Cup tickets to an Algerian businessman, Lamine Fofana, whom authorities have called the top ticket scalper at this year's Cup, which ended Sunday.

Whelan had been arrested by Rio de Janeiro police last week, but freed hours later on bail. A police investigator then obtained a new warrant for his arrest late last week, but Whelan left the Copacabana Hotel where he was staying just minutes before authorities arrived to take him into custody again.

In an emailed statement, Whelan's lawyer, Fernando Fernandes, said Whelan turned himself over to the judge in charge of overseeing the case against him and was placed in a holding cell. Police were expected to take custody of Whelan and transfer him to jail.

The MATCH group has denied any wrongdoing by Whelan in a series of written statements and said he was willing to cooperate with any investigation.

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