Webb arrested in Swiss dawn raid

| 27/05/2015 | 93 Comments
Cayman News Service

Jeff Webb, CONCACAF President

(CNS) Updated with FIFA statement: Jeffrey Webb, the president of CONCACAF and vice president of FIFA, has been arrested in Switzerland in a dawn raid connected to allegations of corruption in the world of international football, as well as racketeering. Webb (50) was arrested along with six other officials in Zurich who were there for the FIFA annual meeting to elect the president. Sepp Blatter, however, has not been arrested and is expected to be re-elected. Meanwhile, several other FIFA officials are facing indictment in the US.

As well as Webb, the former president of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, FIFA executive member Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay and Jose Maria Marin, who led Brazil’s soccer federation during last year’s World Cup, were among those arrested. Cayman’s football boss is understood to be facing extradition to the US on federal corruption charges.

Cayman News Service

The 5-star Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich where the raid took place

As leaders of the football governing body gathered for their annual meeting, more than a dozen plainclothes Swiss law enforcement officials arrived unannounced at the luxury Baur au Lac hotel, went to the front desk to get keys and headed to the rooms, according to international reports.

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland said it was looking into criminal mismanagement and money laundering.

“The files seized today and the collected bank documents will serve criminal proceedings both in Switzerland and abroad,” a statement from the office said. The AG stated that Swiss Federal Criminal Police will be questioning 10 people who took part in the voting when the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded.

Swiss officials say they are working closely with US authorities, but the investigations are separate.

US authorities believe they have legal jurisdiction for alleged crimes that largely occurred outside the country because the broad reach of US tax and banking regulations aids their ability to bring the charges. US TV networks also paid billions of dollars, the largest amount in the world, for the broadcast rights to the World Cup.

The news of the arrests and duel investigations into corruption in the game, especially surrounding World Cup bids, spread fast and hit the headlines on every international media site, with Webb taking centre stage in the story as the VP of the governing body and Blatter’s heir apparent.

CNS has contacted CONCACAF and the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) for comment and officials confirmed that a statement will be released later today.

Update:

In a release issued this morning (27 May), FIFA said it was fully cooperating as injured party in the actions by Swiss authorities. It said:

“FIFA welcomes actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football. We understand that today’s actions by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice on behalf of the US authorities and the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (initiated by FIFA through the submission of the file on the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process) relate to different matters.

“Firstly, the arrest of six individuals this morning in Zurich concerns investigations by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of the State of New York. The Swiss authorities, acting on behalf of their US counterparts, arrested the individuals for activities carried out in relation with CONCACAF and CONMEBOL business.

“The second instance follows FIFA’s initiative of presenting the file on the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process to the Swiss Office of the Attorney General in November 2014. The authorities are taking the opportunity of the FIFA Congress to interview those FIFA Executive Committee members who are not Swiss residents who voted back in 2010 and are still in office.

“Today, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General announced that it has opened criminal proceedings against persons unknown in relation to the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process. FIFA is fully cooperating with the investigation and is supporting the collection of evidence in this regard. As noted by the Swiss authorities, this collection of evidence is being carried out on a cooperative basis.

“We are pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued for the good of football and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken.”

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Category: Crime, World News

Comments (93)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Over all these years. With all these titles…

    President of CIFA. President of CONCACAF. Vice President of FIFA. My question is. What has Jeffrey Webb done for Cayman football?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what it feels like to get arrested in one of the most expensive and luxurious hotels in the world…

  3. Anonymous says:

    This may have been a long time coming but God don’t sleep. Wonder when a certain bakery “front” will be exposed

  4. Anonymous says:

    Lmfao. This is to funny. Way to go!! Seems the only time cayman hits national news is when someone is being arrested . Keep up the good work.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Shameful. In the light of the accusations of “money-laundering” — something the Cayman Islands can well do without — CIG should act immediately to freeze Mr. Webb’s bank accounts and other assets in the Cayman Islands until the investigations have taken their course.

  6. I’ll say to Webb like I said to a few others before him;

    “You should have; become a Prime Minister, illegally invaded a foreign country, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent non-white / non-Christian people in the process, go on to profit from said country, miraculously amass a tremendous fortune subsequent to holing office, and ultimately … wait for an international FIFA scandal to tippy-toe your bloody but cash-laden hands right out the backdoor.”

    That’s the only form of (alleged) corruption deemed admissible in today’s world.

    😉

    • Anonymous says:

      yep the usual ‘two wrongs make a right’ nonsense from whodatis…

      • Yes.

        Because clearly allegations of personal gain via corruption and the actual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children via war crimes are equal “wrongs”.

        Anyway, whatever the case, the fact that the USA was the country to bring about these investigations and charges (going back 20 years) is an indictment against ALL the major footballing countries and entities – including the UK and Europe.

        So miss me with the fake outrage buddy.

        Thanks,

        – Whodatis

    • Anonymous says:

      Bless Whodatis and his one trick pony postings. He hasn’t been his usual self for some time. May it is the medication.

    • Anonymous says:

      FIFA has blood on their hands in Qatar, workers die in the slave camps building the stadiums on a regular basis. Do your research before spouting garbage.

  7. Sharkey says:

    This man is a real disgrace to the Cayman Islands people and especially the kids. To be in a position to help the Islands economy , and the kids of today, and throw it out the window . I think that it would be a long before he is up for any awards . I hope that everyone can see that honesty, integrity should be the foundation of our lives. Don’t care how good you think you are, there’s always someone better .

  8. Anonymous says:

    People of facebook “praying” for Webb’s innocence? wtf for? Praying for a rich man who has three houses in the states? This is why Caymanians will never, ever get anywhere. I swear you all are so blinded by religious tom-foolery that there is no hope for none of us.

    Why don’t you all pray for the MLA’s to go do some work!!!! Or even better, go sit-down in front of the L.A. building and demand it of them, with their big fat monthly double-dipping pay-cheques. Pray for dat!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Some of us are saddened by the downfall of a fellow human being. If he is guilty as charged, he will have to suffer the consequences. In the meantime, having empathy and sympathy do not necessarily mean that we condone wrong doing. We are just not prepare to join the vultures circling impatiently to feast on an anticipated carcass.

    • Anonymous says:

      They should pray for the FIFA corruption protestors in S. Africa and Brazil who were
      assassinated by hit men hired by the contractors. They should pray for the Russian prison labour constructing the stadiums for 2018. They should pray for the Nepalese migrants in Qatar who are not allowed to return home to bury their dead after the earthquake. They should pray for all the Qatar slave labourers losing their lives in unspeakable conditions. To pray for the likes of Webb and the other FIFA Capos is an abomination.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The funniest part will be when the international media latches on to the Canover Watson part. Remember he was a vice president of the Caribbean Football Union and member of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee?

    AUDIT and COMPLIANCE!!!!

  10. RP says:

    This is just so sad. So many of us try to change the image Hollywood has given Cayman’s financial industry over the years but the greed of a handful undermine all efforts. Every time I travel without exception I am told that I come from a money laundering jurisdiction. As an an accountant I am asked if I launder and help clients hide funds or evade tax for a living. It’s demeaning and hurtful. Thanks JW for your greed and resulting contributions to your country.

    • Anonymous says:

      We’ve all been blacklisted by financial scandals and poor [and deliberate] executive level decisions.
      Try putting these [i.e. Cayman] institutions on your resume abroad and the response you get is so eerie. When you are doing everything right, you unknowingly get blackballed along with non-law abiding Cayman Islands owners & executives whose companies you once worked for.
      Such a shameful experience.

      • Anonymous says:

        So, true…I am so glad my employers flagged the sources (e.g. HR, former supervisors, etc.) of these institutions when they obtain feedback during background checks and then conduct alternative feedback when hiring. Many Cayman islands businesses are notorious for shady practices even when they are already in the global spotlight for the same reasons. But, it is an utter disgrace when your clients and associates as those uncomfortable questions or discretely infer likely involvement with laundering, tax evasion, and fraud.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I can a perfect canditate for the 2017 elections.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Is this Mr Webb any family to the government dentist Dr Webb who had to skip the island about 30 years ago for defrauding the Government? They look very alike.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The truly sad thing is what all of this means for the football program in Cayman, likely even for generations to come. There are quite a few talented young players and dedicated coaches who spend all of their spare time to move the football program forward. Yet people like Jeff Webb only want to live the high life and have never spent a day sweating at the football pitch training our youth! And you still have so many people on this Island who like to rub shoulders with the likes of Jeff Webb…….honestly, it beats me how some people sleep at night! I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the funds that were to be spend on football pitches, training for coaches and upgrade of equipment or overseas travel for competitive purposes was squandered away. What a shame! I sincerely hope that the inquiries do not stop where they are but that the whole rabbit hole gets dug up and exposed!

  14. Rick says:

    Isn’t it a bit early to be condemning the man? After all, an arrest is merely an investigative tool. How gleefully we comment on this negative about Cayman. Some of us really do not need to be in this country if we hate it so much. I know Jeff Webb, and until I see evidence and not merely allegations, I remain convinced that he is above board and not a corrupt individual. Cayman should be a little more cautious, given our recent experience with destroying its own and first Premier, merely on allegations.

    • SSM345 says:

      1:40, read the indictment, then lets hear your diatribe supporting corruption.

      • Anonymous says:

        Does this mean that the Captain’s Bakery contract to do the catering for the Qatar world cup will have to be cancelled….?

    • Anonymous says:

      Go sit down! about destroying, he destroying himself… he got too much power too soon!

    • Anonymous says:

      An arrest is not merely an “investigative tool.” Keep in mind that in the US the FBI cannot expect to be able to question him (silence is not admissible evidence) and obviously they have already investigated to their satisfaction. The US Attorney has already presented the evidence to a grand jury, and they indicted him. All the US needs is a trial date. Sure they could lose, but I wouldn’t put any money on it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read some reports that state that Jeff Webb is a British Citizen

  16. Sharkey says:

    This really shows us that honesty, integrity, and truth must always be the foundation of our lives . A lot more heads are going to roll in Cayman , this investigation has been going on for many years .

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope they didnt get their investigation skills from tempura. :S

      • The difference between how the U.S. and British investigate crime is cavernous. The former is generally efficient, thorough and tenacious, the latter is generally inefficient, incompetent, and corrupt. Virtually every high-profile British criminal investigation plays out like an episode of Fawlty Towers, e.g. the Hillsborough disaster, Jimmy Savile sex abuse, phone-hacking, Operation Tempura, etc. The list is seemingly endless.

        Six of the defendants (four individuals and two corporations) in the USA’s investigation into FIFA have already entered into plea agreements and, no doubt, most or all of the rest will soon be on their hands and knees begging to be given a plea deal.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hahahaha…the absolute truth.

        • Brackerjack says:

          The difference in approach is largely attributable to the fact that the USA treats law enforcement as a revenue raising exercise. Hence the plea deals and massive fines and settlements. Brutal and efficient maybe but most definitely not cricket.

  17. bobo says:

    always had my doubts about that rather fast rise to power of JW.
    also always wondered why he never had to work much while he was the boss at CIFA.
    obviously this has been going on for a very long time.
    easy come easy go….

  18. Keith plywood says:

    No shock here. In health services, law enforcement, housing, politics, corruption is rife within these Islands. Stay classy Cayman!

  19. Kman Socceroo says:

    Was wondering if the British officials who were allegedly bribing Jack Warner to win their bid will be duly arrested I won’t hold my breath?? or the same bankers right here in Cayman who were allegedly banking Chuck Blazers money at Barclays Bank PLC Yes Cayman watch the sarcastic comments and condemnation that will now fly now to destroy one of our own yet many here and overseas are immune to investigations or reproach about their criminal actions. All about the money folks and also about those who desperately want to control it. It all about the timing too.The real victims are our young children who’s opportunities will now be lost or stole by the very corrupt and powerful few offshore.

    • Edith sheetrock says:

      Yep, I thought that somewhere along the line the blame would fall on an evil driftwood conspiracy.

      • Eiger Sanction says:

        Only the corrupt can truly investigate the corrupted! Edith dear! When will Caymanians ever learn that everybody that smiles with you ain’t necessarily your friend. How truly sad and disgraceful for these little islands.

    • Judean people's Front says:

      Guess the evil colonial apparatus forced this guy to get arrested too –
      More to come folks!

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costas_Takkas

      • Anonymous says:

        @ Judean People’s Front.
        Costas Takkas is a Cayman National. Takkas isn’t even a known Cayman Family name. What part of the island did he (and his family exist)? Wiki doesn’t say where he was born, nor does it provide his personal background info. There are many strutting around Cayman touting to be Cayman Nationals -that is, “true” Caymanian Nationals – when they are merely naturalized citizen.
        Need more info. This Wiki link is weak on info. In fact, it looks like a newly created bunch of nonsense the needs 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th,…party verification. You’d probably have better luck with Google. Looking forward to your next post. #WinkWink

    • Anonymous says:

      As long as there are people like you, there will be people like the 6 or 7 which have been arrested! Always an excuse, always someone else’s fault. Only one thing I agree with is that the true victims of all of this will be the children in the various CONCACAF countries who have been liked robbed of some good opportunities thanks to those high flying individuals who appeared to have been corrupt for years!

  20. JTB says:

    It’s safe to assume that anyone working for or connected with FIFA is corrupt. Anyone with the slightest jot of integrity would have resigned long since. The entire institution is rotten from top to bottom

  21. Anonymous says:

    The likelihood of anything sticking to old Sepp is infinitely less than remote. Nothing bad can adhere to Teflon. He will ride off into retirement and the patsies further down the structural ladder will end up holding the bag of poo.

  22. Anonymous says:

    No doubt they’ll all be offered a plea bargain in exchange for helping build a case against Blatter. Good riddance!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, this could well be a case of ambition over-riding common sense. When Webb originally got the VP job on 2012 he was warned FIFA was a proverbial nest of vipers – maybe he should have listened to that advice?

    • Pogo says:

      The charges relate to matters predating 2012.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pogo, check your facts. The indictment (which is available on line) actually alleges that, between 1991 and the present, the defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted the enterprise by engaging in various criminal activities, including fraud, bribery and money laundering.

        Having said that I’d be interested to find out where all the money for CIFA’s ‘Centre for Excellence’ went. I remember talking to Jeff Webb about that in 2007 and at that time he even claimed to have a site where it was going to be built.

        • Pogo says:

          Ummm – how is 1991 not pre dating 2012? Original poster was inferring that Webb innocently ended up in a nest of vipers in 2012.

      • Anonymous says:

        2012 – current.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please!

    • SSM345 says:

      10:41, if you actually read the 164 page indictment, you will see that this has been going on with Webb and others from Cayman since 1991. They are up sh*t creek, federal prison is where he is going along with his dirty corrupt mates, and good riddance. What an Ambassador for Cayman and World Football.

  24. Anonymous says:

    a caymanian involved in corruption, fraud, money laundering…….never!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Islands Football Association must not vote for Seth Blatter if presidency election continues.

  26. NoMo ADHD says:

    No surprises here.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Well done Webb this makes Cayman look great! It’s about time THIEFA was shut down!

    • Judean people's Front says:

      Webb is not the only caymanian involved, Google costas takkas, another one putting Cayman on the map of suspected international corruption!

      • SSM345 says:

        If you think it is just Caymanian Football Executives involved i.e. Webb and Costas, then you are as dumb as Jeff Webb, lots of others are going to fall, take for instance those that set up the Cayman Companies that were being used…..

        • Anonymous says:

          Your right…one corrupted person to be indicted in Cayman can literally take down an entire network. Look good.
          The proverbial business mafias’ web of deception. Damaging.

      • Anonymous says:

        @Judean People Front.
        Stop spreading propaganda. Takkas is no Caymanian! What’s his personal background? and, where in Cayman does his family reside?

        • Anonymous says:

          When Costas Takkas was Secretary of CIFA he and Jeff Webb cooked up a scheme to have Cayman qualify for the World Cup just like Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. They were going to offer Cayman Status to the best English players who were not quite up to the standard to represent England, but could have made a good enough team to qualify through the CONCACAF group.
          You can probably guess who was Leader of Government Business when Jeff made the approach. I believe the citizen of convenience scheme was shot down by FIFA or maybe even by Jack Warner, but I think a few players were identified and given Cayman passports. Maybe Costas put his name on the list for Status at the same time.

        • Judean people's Front says:

          The readers of Cns have come through and delivered. Whilst Takkas may have not walked to school carrying a smoke pot or slaughtered turtles, there are enough established links for him to be firmly connected to the Cayman Islands. Spin it how you want, dissect the generations, in the end the Islands still suffer.
          Suddenly your propaganda theory lays in ruins. If it doesn’t now, wait until the events unfold even further and further local links emerge.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanian Status Holder: Costas Takkas (Cayman Islands)
        Takkas, 58, is the attache to the president of CONCACAF (Webb) and the former general secretary of the Cayman Islands soccer federation.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Oh please let the world collapse around Blatter and his corrupt leadership. It is time the regional federations in Europe, North and South America pulled out of the World Cup tournaments and stuck it to FIFA. We need an alternative World Cup so it is not all about the money and just a little bit about the beautiful game.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you could just learn to play a real game like rugby.

    • Anonymous says:

      FIFA won’t fail; but, it will surely see some hard times. There’s a lot of “cleaning house” to be done. Hopefully, it will weed out [most] of the corruption for a while (until a next corruption scandal is suspected, investigated & prosecuted)

  29. Just Sayin' says:

    Apparently, de partee Can-over

  30. Anonymous says:

    another black eye for cayman…..

  31. Sam says:

    Anyone has integrity nowadays?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Watch this space. Jack Warner’s own son, along with 3 others, have already pleaded and are cooperating with the US authorities. Lots of nervous people in and around FIFA today. Especially in CONCACAF.

    • Anonymous says:

      The indictment alleges there were bribes and kickbacks regarding media and marketing rights and the selection of the host country for the 2010 World Cup. There were reports that one voter wanted $2.5 million for his ballot while another wanted a knighthood.

  33. Brackerjack says:

    We in the Brac need to be assured that our FIFA certified field and facilities on top the Bluff, including the changing rooms, are safe and will not have to be returned.

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