The UK’s Sunday Times says thousands of tickets for top events at this year’s Olympic Games have been put on the black market by officials representing 54 of the nations taking part.

German newspapers including Bild are reporting the offices of the German Football Association (DFB), the offices of CTS Eventim and the private home of CTS chief Klaus-Peter Schulenberg have been raided for a second time in an investigation into the alleged miss-selling of tickets for the 2006 World Cup soccer finals.

The UK paper mounted a two-month investigation that is said to reveal “widespread corruption” among the Olympic officials and the agents controlling the sale of tickets, which has resulted in many of them being touted for as much as 10 times face value.

It handed a dossier to the International Olympic Committee, which called an emergency meeting of its executive board June 15.

The IOC immediately launched its own investigation and says it will impose “the strongest sanctions” on any officials found to have traded tickets on the black market, which could involve their countries being banned from selling Olympic tickets in the future.

The tickets being offered were traced to the allocations sent to national Olympic committees in such places as China, Serbia, Greece, Lithuania, and the United States. They included seats for such top events as the 100-metres final.

Greg Harney, the organiser of New York’s failed bid for this year’s Olympics and now a vice president of U.S. travel giant Cartan Tours, is said to have told undercover reporters that they should set up a sham address in one of the 40 countries whose tickets he controls to conceal an illicit foreign sale.

“As the only Authorised Ticket Reseller for over 40 countries, Cartan is responsible for the equitable distribution of all event tickets allocated to the countries listed on this page,” says a note on the company website.

“Cartan Tours is NOT affiliated with or appointed by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and as such is not authorized to sell Olympic Games event tickets to residents of the United States,” it says.

The 40 countries whose tickets were handled by Cartan include Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Ecuador, El Salvador, and almost every other country in Central and South America.

UK ticket buyers had to make applications for the first Olympic tickets released and then hope their names were drawn in the lottery that decided who should have them.

The Sunday Times also said that in some countries the demand for Olympic tickets has been so low that “unscrupulous officials” had plenty to sell on the secondary market.

The organising committee for the London Games (LOCOG) allocated 1.2 million tickets to overseas Olympic committees.

The paper claims its reporters have filmed several agents admitting that what they were doing with the tickets was illegal.

Having broken the story two weeks before the Olympics, the famous British broadsheet has uncovered a scandal that will likely rumble on beyond the opening and the closing ceremonies.

In Germany, Bild reported that the raids on Eventim and the national soccer authority were ordered by Munich state prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch.

The investigation has been going on for more than two years and Eventim’s offices had previously been searched in 2010.

The German daily tabloid said Steinkraus-Koch, who has investigated several German insider trading scandals, has accused Eventim, Schulenberg and former head of DFB ticketing Willy Behr of illegally selling personalised tickets for the 2006 soccer finals.

The paper reckons they made about euro 12 million ($15.2 million) from the black market deals.

The Munich prosecutor is also reportedly looking at whether DFB officials were bribed to award Eventim the ticketing contract for the 2006 World Cup.

Bild detailed the connections between Eventim, the DFB and O&P Event Marketing GmbH, the company that allegedly sold the tickets to the black market.

It pointed out that Behr formerly worked for Eventim subsidiary GSO, and O&P managing director Christa Nesnidal was once a member of the German ticketing giant’s supervisory board.

It also said Nesnidal is married to Thilo Nesnidal, who is “rumoured to be” a close friend of Schulenberg and acts as his personal tax adviser.