Irish executive nabbed for scalping Olympic tickets

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The Olympic Council of Ireland is investigating why tickets allocated to the organization were found in the possession of two men arrested by Rio de Janeiro police investigating the illegal sales of Olympic tickets.

Kevin James Mallon, one of the heads of British ticketing and hospitality provider THG Sports, was arrested with fake tickets for the Rio Games, police said Monday. Mallon is accused of conspiracy and helping sell tickets illegally.

The state's investigative police also arrested a company employee who was working as an interpreter during the games in a Friday raid.

Agents seized more than 1,000 tickets that were being sold for "very high" fees. The OCI name was visible on tickets displayed by police, but the Irish said they had "no knowledge" of the two men arrested.

"The OCI has launched an immediate investigation with our (authorized ticket reseller) ATR, Pro10, into how the individuals were allegedly in possession of OCI allocated tickets," the Olympic Council of Ireland said in a statement. "The OCI strictly adheres to the IOC regulations around ticket allocation, sale and re-sale. We are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness."

Police said THG Sports was part of an alleged ticket-scalping scheme that was uncovered during the 2014 World Cup.

THG Sports, which is not the Olympic Council of Ireland's official ticketing partner, does not mention Mallon on its website.

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