Mon | Apr 24, 2017

Documents show details of Warner 'bribes'

Published:Monday | June 8, 2015 | 6:00 AM
Former FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner hold a copy of a check while he speaks at a political rally in Marabella, Trinidad and Tobago, last Wednesday. Warner made a televised address, saying he will prove a link between soccer's governing body and his nation's elections in 2010. Warner said he has documents and checks that link FIFA officials, including embattled President Sepp Blatter, to the 2010 election in Trinidad and Tobago.

BBC News (Trinidad):

A BBC investigation has seen evidence that details what happened to the $10m sent from FIFA to accounts controlled by former vice-president Austin 'Jack' Warner.

The money, sent on behalf of South Africa, was meant to be used for its Caribbean Diaspora Legacy Programme.

But documents suggest Warner used the payment for cash withdrawals, personal loans and to launder money.

The 72-year-old, who has been indicted by the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for corruption, denies all claims of wrongdoing.

FIFA says it is cooperating with the investigation.

And South Africa's Football Association has issued a detailed statement denying any wrongdoing.

The papers seen by the BBC detail three wire transfers by FIFA.

In the three transactions - on January 4, February 1 and March 10, 2008 - funds totalling US$10m (£6.5m) from FIFA accounts were received into CONCACAF accounts controlled by Jack Warner.

At the time, he was in charge of the body, which governs football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The money had been promised by South Africa's Football Association for its so-called diaspora legacy programme to develop football in the Caribbean.

The documents detail exactly how and when the money was transferred.

The documents reveal how the money was spent and moved around.

JTA Supermarkets, a large chain in Trinidad, received US$4,860,000 from the accounts.

The money was paid in instalments from January 2008 to March 2009. The largest payment was US$1,350,000 paid in February 2008.

US prosecutors say the money was mostly paid back to Warner in local currency and huge sums of money were used to pay off credit cards and personal loans.

The BBC gave details of its investigation to Brent Sancho, Trinidad and Tobago's sports minister and a former footballer.

 

time for justice

 

He said: "He (Warner) must face justice, he must answer all of these questions. Justice has to be served.

"He will have to account - with this investigation, he will have to answer for his actions."

The documents also show US$360,000 of the FIFA money was withdrawn by people connected to Warner.

A Trinidad supermarket received almost $5 million, nearly $1.6 million was used to pay the former FIFA vice-president's credit cards and personal loans.

The documents show the largest personal loan Warner provided for himself was US$410,000. The largest credit card payment was US$87,000.

Sancho says he is now angry and disappointed.

"I'm devastated because a lot of that money should have been back in football, back in the development of children playing the sport.

"It is a travesty. Mr Warner should answer the questions," he added.

Warner is one of 14 people charged by US prosecutors over alleged corruption at FIFA. The US Justice department alleges the 14 accepted bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than US$150m (£97m) over a 24-year period. Warner denies all charges of corruption.

 

bribe allegations

 

He resigned from FIFA's executive committee and all other football commitments in 2011 amid allegations he had bribed his Caribbean associates.

He later stepped down as Trinidad and Tobago's security minister amid a fraud inquiry.

A key figure in the deepening scandal, in a recent statement he said he had given lawyers documents outlining the links between FIFA, its funding, himself and the 2010 election in Trinidad and Tobago. He said the transactions also included Blatter.

"I will no longer keep secrets for them who actively seek to destroy the country," he said in an address on Trinidadian TV last week entitled 'The gloves are off'.

Speaking to his supporters at a rally later the same day, he promised an "avalanche" of revelations to come.

Warner, who faces extradition to the US, was released on bail after handing himself in to police in the Trinidad and Tobago capital Port-of-

Spain last week. He says he is an innocent scapegoat who will soon reveal the truth of what happened inside FIFA.

The announcement of the FBI charges in late May has driven FIFA into its greatest crisis; last week its president, Sepp Blatter announced he was stepping down, only days after being re-elected to a fifth term.