At the request of U.S. authorities, Interpol Red Notices — or international wanted persons alerts — have been issued for two former FIFA officials and four corporate executives for charges including racketeering, conspiracy, and corruption.
A 47-count indictment was unsealed last week in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging 14 defendants with a 24-year corruption scheme at the heart of international soccer.
The guilty pleas of four individual defendants and two corporate defendants were also unsealed.
Interpol issued Red Notices for:
Jack Warner, Trinidad & Tobago national, former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser.
Nicolás Leoz, Paraguayan national, former FIFA executive committee member and CONMEBOL president.
Alejandro Burzaco, Argentine national, controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.
Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis, Argentine nationals, controlling principals of Full Play Group S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.
José Margulies (also known as José Lazaro), Brazilian national, controlling principal of Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd., broadcasting businesses.
When the indictments were unsealed in New York last week, police in Switzerland arrested at least six soccer officials at the request of the United States.
The arrests came as leaders of FIFA were holding their annual meeting near Zurich at the five-star Baur au Lac hotel.
Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s president since 1998, wasn’t charged. The 79-year-old was re-elected to the top post in a scheduled vote last Friday. But on Tuesday he resigned from FIFA.
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Interpol members (all countries except North Korea) have the right to request a Red Notice, asking other members to detain and extradite a wanted individual.
A Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant, and Interpol can’t compel any member country to arrest the subject of a Red Notice.
Interpol’s general secretariat doesn’t send officers to arrest individuals who are the subject of a Red Notice.
Only the law enforcement authorities of the Interpol member country where the individual is located have the legal authority to make an arrest.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.