Bow man arrested on suspicion of UEFA touting

Wembley Stadium. Image: Martin Pettitt

A 38-year-old man from Bow was arrested on suspicion of ticket touting at yesterday’s UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley. He was later bailed to return in June pending further inquries. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) “Operation Podium” arrested a total of nine men from England, Romania, Germany and Italy on suspicion of ticket touting and associated offences at the match, in which FC Barcelona beat Manchester United 3-1.

The officers worked in partnership with Wembley Stadium and UEFA, carrying out planned intelligence-led operations to target touts illegally selling match tickets.

Despite warnings from the police and football authorities, large numbers of fans had turned up at Wembley without tickets.

The officers prevented touts and people with fraudulent or counterfeit tickets from entering the stadium.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Downing, from Operation Podium said:

“Ticket touting is an illegal business run by people to gain financially through the exploitation of clubs and their fans. Genuine fans need to be aware they are not only fuelling criminal activity when they buy from a tout, but also putting themselves at risk as they could find themselves amongst opposing supporters.
If you buy tickets from unofficial places, you run the risk of paying over the odds for a non-existent ticket, ending up disappointed by not getting to see the game that you paid for, and risk having your personal and credit card details stolen for use in other crimes.”

London 2012 logo. Image: Ben Sutherland

The arrests were part of the MPS crackdown on organised criminal ticketing networks ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Operation Podium has announced that it will continue to “create a difficult environment for touts to operate in.”

The Met are urging the public only to buy tickets from official websites, run by authorised sellers.

For more information visit the MPS website.

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