AML News: Indicted FIFA officials fight extradition


News

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Seven FIFA officials accused of bribery and money laundering are fighting extradition from Switzerland to the U.S. The U.S. has begun official proceedings to request extradition based on charges resulting from an FBI investigation into widespread bribery and money laundering involving more than $150 million over more than two decades.

As details emerge about the scandal, money laundering and bribery has taken center stage. Switzerland’s attorney general, Michael Lauber, said the co-occurring Swiss investigation is massive and will take months and maybe even years. He confirmed that the core of the current Swiss allegations focus on the bidding processes for the men’s World Cup tournaments for 2018 and 2022, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively. The selection of Qatar, in particular, has drawn scorn and bafflement due to the intense heat and need to adjust traditional scheduling to accommodate the conditions.

Swiss banks have noted at least 53 potential cases of money laundering by some FIFA officials. Swiss authorities have seized documents and over nine terabytes of data believed to be relevant to the investigation.

Swiss officials have also gained possession of the full in-house report on ethics commissioned by the FIFA ethics committee. FIFA drew international ire last fall when it released only partial findings from that report and kept the remainder secret. American attorney Michael Garcia, who conducted the in-house ethics investigation over a span of two years, resigned from FIFA service when the full report was not released to the public.