Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Police clamp down on Games touts

British Transport Police officers monitor passengers at Stratford station

Police seeking to prevent ticket touting at the Olympics have made 16 arrests in the last two days, they said.

Five people were held on suspicion of ticket touting on Friday, just hours before the opening ceremony. Of these a 57-year-old German and a 30-year-old Slovakian woman were charged with ticket touting, Scotland Yard said.

Officers made a further 11 arrests on suspicion of ticket touting on Saturday. Two people were also arrested on Friday in relation to the alleged theft of two Olympic Lane passes.

The head of the Metropolitan Police's Operation Podium, Detective Superintendent Nick Downing, said: "My team has been working tirelessly to clamp down on ticket touts. We have been, and will continue to seek out and take robust action against anybody who tries to cash in on the 2012 Games in this way.

"Ticket touting is illegal and is a clear exploitation of those who genuinely wish to experience the Games first-hand. I would also urge people to think twice about purchasing tickets from these criminals: if you do, you are likely to find yourself paying over the odds for them, while at the same time fuelling criminality."

All seven arrests on Friday were in the area of Stratford, and those on Saturday in the areas of Stratford and Wimbledon.

A 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and a 51-year-old man on suspicion of handling stolen goods. They remain in custody.

Wolfgang Menzel, 57, a German national, has been charged with ticket touting and is due to appear at Thames Magistrates' Court on Monday. Maria Bukranova, 30, a Slovakian national, of Ivormore Place, London SE18, has been charged with ticket touting and appears at Thames Magistrates' Court on August 8.

A 57-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of ticket touting has been released with no further action. A 26-year-old man arrested for ticket touting has been bailed to return to police in August, and a 31-year-old man arrested for ticket touting remained in custody.

Of the 11 suspected ticket touts arrested on Saturday, a 62-year-old man has been released with no further action, and a 57-year-old man and a 53-year-old man have been bailed to return to police in October. Eight more men remain in custody.

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