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Eight suspected ticket touts held

Eight suspected ticket touts have been arrested as part of a clampdown ahead of this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Plain clothes officers from the Metropolitan Police's Operation Podium swooped on the suspected touts near Wembley Stadium, before the kick-off of the FA Cup final clash between Chelsea and Liverpool.

Eight men, aged between 22 and 45, were held on suspicion of ticket touting and remain in custody at a north London police station.

Operation Podium is dedicated to serious and organised crime affecting the Olympic economy.

Detective Superintendent Nick Downing said: "Ticket touting is an illegal business run by people to gain financially through the exploitation of clubs and their fans.

"Genuine fans need to be aware they are not only fuelling criminal activity when they buy from a tout, but also putting themselves at risk as they could find themselves amongst opposing supporters.

"If you buy tickets from unofficial places, you run the risk of paying over the odds for a non-existent ticket, ending up disappointed by not getting to see the game that you paid for, and risk having your personal and credit card details stolen for use in other crimes. Don't let this happen to you. Only visit official sites for a list of genuine sellers who are authorised to sell legitimate tickets."

James Brokenshire, minister for crime and security, said: "We are determined that ticket touts won't spoil anyone's enjoyment of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. That's why we've increased the fine for touting Olympic tickets from £5,000 to £20,000.

"My clear message to the touts is that you're not welcome and if you take the risk you will be caught."

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