Another 26 detained for Olympics ticket scalping

2008-07-28 04:25:44 GMT       2008-07-28 12:25:44 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Police have detained another 26 suspects since Saturday for scalping Olympics tickets, Monday's Beijing Youth Daily reported.

The report said 40 people were questioned and more than 100 tickets were seized by the Beijing Police Chaoyang District Branch.

The suspects were allegedly scalping the tickets near a ticket booth at the Olympic Sports Center.

Only 26 of the suspects were detained, while the rest were released after they had been fined, warned and "educated," the report said.

The police detained 60 suspects in Games ticket scalping from May 5 to July 24, according to a police spokesman, who warned last Thursday that scalpers would face penalties, which in some cases could be 10 to 15 days in detention.

The Games' organizing committee had also stated that "resale ofOlympic tickets for profit is illegal" and vowed to "support the authorities to crack down on suspected illegal transactions."

Those who wished to transfer their tickets were required to produce their identity cards and do transactions at designated branches of the Bank of China. Each ticket is only transferable once.

Regardless, many tickets were offered on the Internet. Media reports exposed one extreme case where a 5,000 yuan (731 U.S. dollars) ticket was resold for a staggering 210,000 yuan.

The fourth and final phase of ticket sales started on Friday as the last 820,000 tickets went on sale. All 250,000 tickets for events that would be held in the capital were sold out by 10 p.m. on Sunday.

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