June 18, 2015 / 11:39 AM / 3 years ago

Argentines sought by U.S. in FIFA scandal surrender in Buenos Aires

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine businessmen Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, who are wanted by U.S. prosecutors as part of the FIFA bribery investigation, turned themselves in to authorities in Buenos Aires on Thursday.

Hugo Jinkis, 70, and his son, 40, were among 14 current and former FIFA officials and corporate executives indicted in the United States last month on charges of racketeering and corruption that shocked many in the soccer world.

U.S. prosecutors say the two, together with Argentine Alejandro Burzaco, conspired to win and keep lucrative media rights contracts from regional soccer by paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes.

Burzaco surrendered to police in northern Italy last week.

“They have presented themselves to the authorities, in line with the law,” Hugo Jinkis’ lawyer Jorge Anzorreguy told reporters.

Argentine news agency DyN said the two were taken to a police station in Buenos Aires after turning themselves in at a local court. It was not clear if they would face immediate demands for their extradition to the United States.

“As a matter of longstanding policy, we do not comment on extradition matters,” a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires said.

Only one of the 14 people indicted in the United States still remains at large. A lawyer for the suspect, Brazilian broadcast executive Jose Margulies, said earlier this week that he had returned to Brazil and was preparing to fight extradition.

The Argentine tax authority has denounced all three Argentine suspects for “tax evasion, illicit fiscal association and money laundering.”

Burzaco was president of Argentine sports marketing firm Torneos y Competencias when he was charged. Hugo and Mariano Jinkis are controlling principals of Full Play, another sports media and marketing business headquartered in Argentina.

Additional reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown

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