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FIFA scam: Ex-Peru soccer prez held, Ecuador football chief’s arrest ordered

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Lima (Peru): The former president of Peru’s soccer federation Manuel Burga was arrested amid an ongoing US-led investigation into corruption at the sport’s world governing body FIFA.

Burga was among 16 people, including current and former Latin American soccer chiefs, who were charged with bribery schemes by the US officials, Xinhua reported.

Burga, 58, who was head of the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) for 12 years till 2014, denied wrongdoing as police arrested him on Saturday in Lima.

“I reiterate that I’m innocent. I haven’t received any bungs or bribes,” Burga said.

Burga was suspected of receiving bribes and kickbacks for granting broadcasting rights of Copa America matches to company Torneos y Campeonatos (TyC).

Ecuador orders arrest of its football chief

Ecuador ordered the arrest of its football federation (FEF) president Luis Chiriboga after he was named by US authorities as one of the 16 people connected with a multi-million dollar bribery scandal.

Chiriboga was suspended by the FEF board for a period of 90 days, after his bank accounts, and those of two other FEF officials, were frozen by prosecutors, and the FEF offices in the coastal city of Guayaquil were searched, reports Xinhua.

FEF vice-president Luis Villacis was put in charge after Chiriboga was suspended from his post.

The measures came after US Attorney General Loretta Lynch accused 16 former and current football officials in Latin America, including Chiriboga, of corruption.

Ecuadoran Attorney General Galo Chiriboga said that information from Lynch’s office has been added to the investigation over the FEF officials.

“These crimes were committed in Ecuador, therefore Ecuadoran justice department and the National Attorney General’s Office have all the constitutional rights to investigate them,” said Galo Chiriboga.

Luis Chiriboga’s lawyer, meanwhile, said he had the evidence to clear his client of the charges and would provide them when the time came.

(IANS)

(Image courtesy: crainsnewyork)

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Algeria Embarking ‘Clean Hands’ Campaign Against Corruption, Questions Tycoons

Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office earlier this month

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algeria, clean hands campaign, corruption
FILE - Protestors carry a large flag and chant slogans during a demonstration against the country's leadership, in Algiers, April 12, 2019. VOA

Algerian authorities are embarking on a “Clean Hands” campaign aimed at rooting out corruption that has been linked to top tycoons and current and former government officials. Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office earlier this month. New protests are scheduled for Friday.

Several influential Algerians have been questioned or arrested in recent days. Among them is Issad Rebrab, head of Algeria’s biggest private conglomerate Cevital, who is suspected of possible customs-related violations and other financial wrongdoing, according to prosecutors.

Rebrab, 75, is estimated by Forbes to be Algeria’s richest man and employs 18,000 workers in his agribusiness empire. He tweeted that he went in voluntarily for police questioning. He was questioned for six hours before being taken to the El Harrach prison.

clean hands campaign, corruption
Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office earlier this month. VOA

Others targeted include a legislator accused of accepting bribes from a Chinese company. Also detained for questioning this week were three wealthy brothers believed close to Bouteflika’s brother Said, and seven Industry Ministry officials suspected of “non respect of contractual commitments with state enterprises” and influence trading.

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The Kouninef brothers’ lawyers said they are respecting the legal procedures but need time to consult the case files before commenting. The brothers made their fortune in the oil, food and advertising businesses.

The highest court in Algeria announced in a statement Wednesday that it is considering a case against ex-energy minister Chakib Khelil for acts related to “violations of foreign exchange laws and transfers of capital to foreigners.” Khelil is a close friend of Bouteflika and a high school classmate. Other former ministers are also targeted. (VOA)