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January 28, 2010

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Scalpers use real IDs to buy railway tickets

RAILWAY police from south China's Guangdong Province have detained two people for scalping train tickets, the first such arrests since the launch of a scheme to sell tickets based on ID cards, Yao Mai, director of Guangzhou Railway Police said yesterday.

The pilot scheme began in south China on January 21 to prevent ticket hoarding by scalpers during the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year travel peak.

Guangzhou railway police have been closely monitoring scalping activities since the scheme began, and received reports that an illegal ticket agency was reselling tickets, said Yao.

Police arrived at the agency on Sunday in Zhongshan City of Guangdong Province and seized 35 tickets with a total face value of 5,700 yuan (US$834) and 47 ID cards.

The ID card system was initially adopted on trains between Guangdong, home to millions of migrants workers seeking to return home for the Spring Festival holiday, and inland provinces of Hunan, Sichuan and Guizhou and Chongqing Municipality.

The supply of railway tickets in China often fails to meet demand. Every year during the Spring Festival exodus, many people cannot obtain tickets from authorized outlets and are forced to buy from scalpers.

Police are warning travelers not to give IDs to scalpers to buy tickets for them, because they risk losing both IDs and their cash.


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