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Expo ticket robbers get jail terms

FOUR men who pretended to buy World Expo tickets from scalpers and ran away with tickets without paying were sentenced from 16 months to six years and four months in prison yesterday.

The four convicts, all in their 20s, robbed three victims of 105 Expo tickets valued at 18,240 yuan (US$2,776), according to the Pudong New Area People's Court.

The gang leader surnamed Yang from Jilin Province had been detained before for as a scalper of China Pavilion reservation vouchers. After he was freed, he thought of making an appointment with other scalpers who sold World Expo tickets online and snatching their tickets with a run. His idea was supported by other three members.

Yang made an appointment with a woman scalper online one day last September to meet the next evening in a Metro station near the World Expo site.

Yang went to see the scalper while two members were on watch and another, surnamed Xu, was on a motorcycle waiting to carry Yang off as soon as he grabbed the tickets, the court heard.

Yang told the woman to go to a hidden place as he needed to check if her tickets were genuine. The scalper handed him 39 tickets and Yang pretended to check.

Since the scalper paid close attention to him, Yang called Xu to come over to "pay." As Xu came up, Yang snatched the tickets to run, but the motorcycle engine suddenly failed and Xu had to run away leaving the motorcycle behind.

The gang conducted two more robberies this way after learning the lesson in their first try. When Yang got the tickets, Xu just drove over to pick him up. They snatched altogether 105 World Expo tickets.


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