FIFA Bribery: Swiss Extradites Rafael Esquivel to the US


Former Venezuela soccer federation president, Rafael Esquivel has been extradited from Switzerland to the United States on Monday.  This is in connection with the FIFA bribery case which he was involved in.

The decision came after Esquivel made known his ultimate decision to withdraw his appeal against extradition to the Federal Supreme Court, said Swiss Federal Office of Justice.

“This enabled the Federal Office of Justice to approve his extradition to the U.S.A. the same day,” said Folco Galli.

“Esquivel must be placed in the custody of a U.S. police escort and taken to the U.S.A. within 10 days,” he added.

Two American police officers escorted him back to New York; accompanying him in the flight.  They also took charge of him in Zurich.

According to Switzerland’s justice ministry, Esquivel will face bribery charges over his involvement in the FIFA graft scandal. He will be presented before a federal judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday, reports The Local.

Esquivel was arrested at a Zurich hotel by Swiss authorities on May 27th, last year. He was charged for taking bribes of millions of dollars for granting sports marketing contracts with the Copa America. He was under police custody since then while an investigation over corruption in the world football and FIFA is on-going.

There were several senior officials who were also involved in the FIFA scandal.  Around 14 officials and associates were accused of wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering. The investigation majorly focused on officials of continental football bodies CONMEBOL (South America) ,CONCACAF (Caribbean, Central and North America), and sports marketing executives.

On May 27, police detained a total of seven officials at the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zürich. All were suspected of receiving US$150 million in bribes. Later in December, two FIFA officials were arrested in the same hotel.

Following a probe ,The United States authorities have accused another individual over corruption in FIFA.  As per the revelations by a federal judge in New York, a defendant Miguel Trujillo was accused of a felony  charge on March 4; this is said to be related to “publicly recognized soccer-corruption cases”, reports the Lawyer Herald.

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