Ahmedabad: Police in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city have arrested four persons for allegedly printing and selling 50 fake tickets of the upcoming India-Pakistan cricket World Cup match to people at Rs 3 lakh, an official said on Wednesday.
Three of the four accused are 18-year-old, while the fourth one is aged 21, he said, adding that the city crime branch made the arrest.
India vs Pakistan World Cup 2023 match is scheduled to be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium located in Motera area of Ahmedabad on October 14.
The police’s preliminary probe revealed that the accused first purchased an original ticket of the match and then printed nearly 200 duplicate tickets after editing the scanned copy of that original ticket using Photoshop software at the shop of one of the accused, Deputy Commissioner of Police Chaitanya Mandlik of the Ahmedabad city crime branch said.
“The police have recovered all 200 tickets, including the 50 that were sold by the youths using their connections on social media,” he said.
The accused, identified as Jaymin Prajapati, Dhrumil Thakor and Rajvir Thakor (all 18) and Kush Meena (21), are residents of different parts of either Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar, he added.
Giving details of the case, Mandlik said, “After learning that tickets for the Indo-Pak match are in huge demand and can be sold at a high price to cricket fans, Prajapati, who lives near the stadium, came up with the idea of selling duplicate tickets in the black market.” “He then roped in Rajvir and Dhrumil to execute his plan and approached Meena, who owns a print shop in Bodakdev area. When Meena said an original ticket was needed to execute the plan, Dhrumil purchased one ticket and gave it to Meena, who then created fake digital copies from the scanned file of the original ticket on his computer using Photoshop,” the official said.
The accused then purchased a colour printer and printed nearly 200 duplicate tickets, which looked exactly like the original one, he said.
Using their connections on social media, Prajapati and Rajvir initially sold some tickets. When the demand for it started going up, they printed some more tickets and sold it to cricket fans for a price ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000 per ticket, Mandlik said.
“After learning about this illegal activity, our team raided Meena’s shop on Tuesday and nabbed all four accused with unsold tickets and other material, including defective print-outs of tickets, printer, computer and mobile phones. We also recovered 50 tickets that were sold by the accused for Rs 3 lakh collectively to the cricket fans,” he said.
The police have registered a case against the four accused on the charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, breach of trust and forgery, among others, he added.