China / Society

China cracks down on train ticket scalping

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-09 08:14

BEIJING - China's railway police on Tuesday started a 60-day campaign against train ticket scalpers, ahead of the Spring Festival, the country's busiest travel season.

Police have stepped up monitoring of all people who have a police record of ticket scalping dating back to two years, according to a statement from the public security bureau of the Ministry of Railways.

Mobile phones and Internet accounts that were involved in scams over train tickets have been blacklisted and will be closely watched, the statement said.

Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on February 10 this year and is an important occasion of family reunions.

The busiest travel period will likely span from January 26 to March 6, according to the Ministry of Railways.

It is expected that more than 224 million passengers to travel via trains during the period, a year-on-year increase of 4.6 percent.

Due to limited transport capacity, the supply of train tickets often fails to match demand during this season and desperate passengers are willing to pay much higher prices, making ticket scalping a profitable business and a tough target for the police.

This year, the railway operators adopted several measures to facilitate the purchase of train tickets.

Passengers can pick up tickets booked by telephone at any railway station booth nationwide, which might also make ticket scalping easier.

To close the loophole, police will closely monitor incoming calls on booking lines and single out suspicious ones, the statement said.

As in previous years, they will step up efforts to fight counterfeiting of train tickets, buying tickets with fake IDs and ticket scalping online, the statement added.

Security at railway station ticket offices has also been tightened to help detain suspects, according to the public security bureau.

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