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Beijing police warn against scalping Olympic tickets
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Beijing police department has warned that anyone found scalping Olympics tickets faces penalties, which in some cases could be 10 to 15 days in detention, the Beijing Youth Daily reported on Monday.

The report, quoting an unidentified source with the Beijing Public Security Bureau, said police had uncovered several online cases in which people were touting tickets for the opening ceremony or other events.

The police said they would step up their crackdown on such activities.

As the Olympics near, some Chinese have become frantic about tickets, particularly for the opening ceremony on Aug. 8. The police warned the public not to buy tickets from scalpers, because they might get fakes or pay exaggerated prices.

Last Monday, ticket transfers for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, which started on June 20, came to an official stop.

Those who wished to transfer tickets were required to produce identity cards and do the transactions at designated branches of the Bank of China. Each ticket was transferable only once.

The Games' organizing committee has stated that "resale of Olympic tickets for profit is illegal" and vowed to "support the authorities to crack down on suspected illegal transactions."

Regardless, many tickets were found offered on the Internet at inflated prices. In one reported case, a 5,000 yuan (731 U.S. dollars) ticket was resold for 210,000 yuan.

In mid-May, Beijing police detained three men on suspicion of touting Olympics tickets, which was the first case of scalping Olympic tickets in Beijing.

(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2008)

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