Rio 2016: Police bust Olympic ticketing scam

The tickets have since been destroyed

Updated: 
Police bust multi-million dollar Olympic ticket scam
Rio 2016: Police bust Olympic ticketing scam
Here you can see footage of hundreds of highly sought after tickets to the Rio Olympics put on display by police.

But none of these will actually be used - that's because before they could be the Brazilian police confiscated them, saying they were being sold illegally.

The sophisticated scheme was organised by Kevin Mallon, an Irish man who police identified as the director at London-based company, THG sports - a sports hospitality company.

Ricardo Barbosa, one of the investigators, said: "They managed to buy VIP tickets for highly sought after events, such as the football final and the opening and closing ceremonies."

"All the tickets combined were all purchased for about $200,000 but they planned to re-sell them for as much as $3.5 million in total."

Police say the company bought the tickets and resold them as part of a tour package for wealthy clients.

Just hours before the opening ceremony police arrested Mallon and found hundreds of tickets stashed in a safe in his hotel room.

Police say the company may have been involved in similar scams in a number of other major events.

Ronaldo Oliveira, another investigator, said: "There is no doubt they were selling tickets to events in different countries."

Another multi-million dollar ticketing scam was uncovered in Brazil just two years ago when the country hosted the football World Cup.

During that event Ray Whelan, the director of FIFA's sport and hospitality company was arrested for allegedly spear-heading a scheme to re-sell VIP tickets and passes for football matches.

As for the tickets for the Olympics, police say that because they were re-sold illegally, they will all be destroyed.

Victims of scams and fraud

Victims of scams and fraud