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Irishman Kevin James Marlen in Rio prison over Olympics ticket tout allegations

By Matt Sandy

Published 08/08/2016

Kevin James Marlen was detained by police on Friday and could face two years in a Brazilian jail under draconian anti-touting laws
Kevin James Marlen was detained by police on Friday and could face two years in a Brazilian jail under draconian anti-touting laws

An Irishman has been arrested and imprisoned for allegedly touting Olympic tickets in Rio.

Kevin James Marlen was detained by police on Friday and could face two years in a Brazilian jail under draconian anti-touting laws.

Marlen was apprehended by detectives at a block of serviced apartments near the Olympic Park in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood.

Guests at the beachside apartments told police he had offered them opening ceremony tickets for above their face value.

That is a crime in Brazil, which has sought to clamp down hard on ticket touts.

Under a law passed in 2010, touting is considered to be a “crime against the popular economy,” and carries a sentence of between six months and two years. If the tickets originated from a national Olympic committee, then Rio 2016 could also levy a fine of up to 100 times their face value on the original holder as punishment.

On Friday, a special Olympic court convened in Rio de Janeiro ordered the Irishman to be imprisoned while the Civil Police detectives investigate the case. A judge also ordered the seizure of Mr Marlen’s tickets, his passport, laptop, mobile phone and USB drives.

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