Brazilian police are searching for a World Cup hospitality company director declared a fugitive by officers investigating a ticket scalping scheme.

Police say Ray Whelan, an executive with the MATCH group, left Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Palace through a service entrance on Thursday about an hour before police arrived to re-arrest him.

Police accuse Whelan of being a main source of World Cup tickets that were sold to an Algerian national they say is the biggest scalper for the sport's marquee tournament.

The MATCH group has denied any wrongdoing by Whelan, and said he was willing to cooperate with any investigation.

Under Brazilian law, reselling tickets for sporting events above face value is illegal.