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Police to launch online monitoring of train ticket scalpers
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China's police are monitoring the Internet in a crackdown on train ticket scalpers preying on millions of travelers trying to get home for the traditional Spring Festival.

A Ministry of Public Security spokesman said Wednesday that police would take effective measures to find those responsible for rampant scalping during the annual peak travel season.

Police launched the "Blue Shield" campaign against scalpers on Dec. 15, and to date had arrested more than 2,300 people and recovered 78,000 scalped train tickets, including 60,000 fake tickets, with a face value of 2.46 million yuan (360,000 U.S. dollars).

The Spring Festival holiday begins on the Lunar New Year's Day which falls on Jan. 26 this year. It is a traditional time for family reunions.

The peak travel season is the largest annual migration in the world and the public routinely complain about problems of buying train tickets. The Ministry of Railways has rejected calls for a real-name system in the sale of tickets in the festive period for technical reasons.

The ministry owns, builds and operates the country's railway network, which extends for almost 80,000 km, the longest in Asia, and is expected to exceed 90,000 km by 2010.

(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2009\)

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