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Two Games ticket scalpers jailed
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Two scalpers have been sentenced to 30 and 18 months' imprisonment and fined 447,000 yuan ($65,500) each for trying to sell 527 tickets for the Olympics Games, Beijing News reported yesterday.

The ruling in the biggest Olympic ticket scalping case was given by the Xicheng district court.

He Yongsheng, 41, agreed to buy Olympic tickets for two companies in Beijing and Guangzhou in March, paying 50 to 60 percent more than the price, Xinhua reported yesterday.

He illegally got hold of more than 500 ID card numbers and 2,000 pieces of personal information through his friend Fu Shuiguo's company and other means, the court said.

Then He booked 527 Olympic Games tickets for 230,000 yuan ($34,000) through the online ticketing system using the ID card numbers and pieces of personal information he had collected illegally.

According to the Beijing Olympic Games' Organizing Committee (BOCOG) norms, people had to show their identity cards to get tickets from Bank of China.

So He made a huge number of fake ID cards and hired two men to collect the tickets for him.

On May 13, a person issuing tickets found a man carrying 10 fake ID cards.

He reported the incident to police, who arrested He and Fu on the same day.

Xinhua said about 7 million tickets for the Olympics were available, three quarters of which were sold in China through the official ticketing website or Bank of China branches.

Police caught more than 560 scalpers and over 900 tickets during the Olympic Games in August.

They arrested 350 of the scalpers and released the others after severe warning.

The BOCOG had warned repeatedly that "Olympic tickets sold for profit is illegal" and vowed to "support the authorities to crack down on suspected illegal transactions".

Police, too, issued public warnings that scalpers face severe punishment.

(China Daily November 17, 2008)

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