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FIFA corruption scandal: Ecuador to ask US for criminal assistance

Quito: Ecuador’s attorney general Galo Chiriboga has announced that he will ask for international criminal assistance from the United States to get to the bottom of investigations against local football executives allegedly involved in the FIFA corruption scandal.

Chiriboga told local media on Tuesday that in the coming hours he will send an official application to the US Justice Ministry to formalise the request, reports Xinhua.

Last week, Ecuador’s Attorney General’s office announced it had launched an investigation into Luis Chiriboga and Francisco Acosta, the president and secretary of the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) respectively, for alleged asset laundering.

The local justice system ordered both executives be kept under house arrest as they are both older than 65 years old and their personal bank accounts have also been frozen.

Also, FEF’s coordinator and head of logistics Vinicio Luna has been detained on remand.

The investigation was launched after the US Attorney’s Office linked the FEF president to the corruption scandal that is currently affecting FIFA. The scandal has affected other South American football federations and high-ranking executives.

The Ecuadorian attorney general said the information that will be required by the US authorities will contribute to the ongoing investigation being carried out by the Attorney General’s Office’s financial analysis unit.

“The Attorney General’s Office brought charges for the alleged asset laundering of $six million. This investigation is already ongoing. The accusation has been presented and for that reason, the Attorney General’s Office has 90 days, as stipulated by the law, to prove these claims,” said Galo Chiriboga.

Last week, U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch accused another 16 high-ranking Latin American former and current executives from world football governing body, FIFA.

This new group, which includes the FEF president Luis Chiriboga, is accused of receiving bribes to favour third parties when awarding television and marketing rights for various national tournaments.

After the list of names was published, FEF suspended Luis Chiriboga from his presidential duties for 90 days as this is the time it will take for the preliminary investigations to be carried out.(IANS)

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