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Bilked Daft Punk fans see cops

TWENTY fans of the electronic music group Daft Punk who were bilked in a concert ticket scam showed up at a Luwan District police station last night to demand justice.

They, and at least one apparently unwitting accomplice of the scamsters, were helping officers track down the two men who allegedly engineered the scheme.

All of those who showed up last night had bought tickets at a Xintiandi-area office run by two mysterious men claiming that the Grammy winning duo would hold a concert tomorrow for a select audience. A foreign Website reported that 3,800 tickets had been sold for 500 yuan (US$73) each.

Many of the buyers said they stood in long lines to buy the coveted tickets, including an Italian woman who said she paid for eight tickets for her and her friends.

"I just want to catch them and disgrace them," said Julie Harris of the United States, who was among those helping to uncover the scam. "They thought they were so clever."

The ticket buyers said the scam ringleaders were a French and a Swiss national who hired a local person to build a Website promoting the concert.

A Frenchman identified only as Julien was hired to handle public relations, and four Chinese were employed to operate the ticket office.

Julien, who apparently wasn't involved in the deception and posted an Internet message revealing the scam, was undergoing police questioning at the Huaihai Road M. police station last night.

Facebook force

He said he felt sorry for those who bought tickets and claimed he was not aware of the fakery, according to Jonathan Cruysberghs of France, the organizer of a Facebook page that united the victims.

Video clips and photos of the two suspects from cameras in their office building have been given to police and the city's airport authorities. The French Consulate General in Shanghai faxed the photos to police in France, according to Thomas Courbieres, one of the organizers of the Facebook page.

The concert was originally promoted via an Internet posting last Friday that said, "Now the French mythical electronic band Daft Punk is coming to Shanghai for one very special night on Friday 13th February with a devious concept called dafthidden 09 tour as the concert venue will be kept hidden till Friday 13th morning."

The post carried a sales address, a cell phone number and a Website. Ticket buyers were supposed to be informed of the concert venue through cell phone short messages. Daft Punk agent Peter Elliott told Shanghai Daily in an e-mail on Tuesday that the concert was a hoax.


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