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December 12, 2019

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Tech-savvy rail ticket scalpers nabbed

Two suspects have been caught for allegedly using software to snap up train tickets on the official railway service website, Shanghai railway police said.

The software allowed the suspects to purchase tickets for popular trains when demand was high but ticket supplies were limited. These tickets were then allegedly sold at a mark-up to passengers. The suspects could face charges of scalping, police said yesterday.

One of the suspects, a man surnamed You, allegedly started this illegal operation last year. He then hired the other suspect, a man surnamed Wang, in November to find customers on WeChat.

Based on demand and availability, they charged 10 to 80 yuan (US$1.4-11.4) more than the actual prices of the tickets, police said.

The duo allegedly earned 40,765 yuan by selling over 1,500 train tickets since September this year, with the total cost of the original tickets being 321,743.5 yuan.

They were caught in Suzhou’s Luzhi Town on December 9.

The railway police said they are waging a campaign against ticket offenses and crimes which will last until February 18, after the Spring Festival travel rush draws to a close.

Since the beginning of this month, the police have caught 51 suspects in 49 such cases, and 44 individuals have been detained, they said.


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