The Christ the Redeemer statue is seen through a set of Olympic rings in Rio de Janeiro/AFP

Rio de Janeiro police have revealed on Tuesday that raids were underway against “an international corruption scheme” suspected of having bribed the IOC to vote for the city’s bid to host last year’s Olympic Games.

Brazilian law enforcement officials, supported by French and US officials, are conducting searches to probe “the buying of votes for the election of (Rio) by the International Olympic Committee as the venue for the 2016 Olympics,” police said in a statement.

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Police searched the house of the country’s Olympics chief Tuesday on allegations that the IOC was bribed to pick Rio de Janeiro as host of last year’s Olympics.

Brazil’s federal police and French officials, including well-known French anti-corruption Judge Renaud Van Ruymbeke, were outside the house of Carlos Nuzman in Rio’s posh seaside Leblon neighborhood.

Nuzman himself was seen leaving by car, as police exited his house carrying sacks of evidence.

Brazilian police did not give names but said 70 officers, joined by French officials, had fanned out across Rio to search 11 sites. Two arrest warrants were issued, the statement added.

Nuzman due for questioning

Nuzman, who headed Rio’s successful bid to become the first South American host of the Olympics, is due to be questioned later, Globo television said.

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio were seen as a sporting and organizational success/AFP

According to the report from Brazil’s biggest news organization, Nuzman is suspected of taking a direct part in bribery of the IOC and of acting as an intermediary between bribe givers and takers.

In Lausanne, Switzerland, an IOC spokesman appeared to have been taken by surprise.

“The IOC has learned about these circumstances from the media and is making every effort to get the full information,” the spokesman said.

“It is in the highest interests of the IOC to get clarification on this matter.”