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Rio police target ticket scalpers a week before World Cup begins

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-06-2014 David Biller

Rio de Janeiro: Rio de Janeiro police are clamping down on ticket scalpers less than a week before soccer’s World Cup begins.

The city’s tourist police, known as DEAT, said on Thursday they had arrested two people in as many days for advertising tickets online at inflated prices. Charging more than face value for a ticket is a crime in Brazil.

Tickets priced at $440 for the 13 July final are being advertised for resale on Geneva-based ticket exchange Viagogo for at least $4,760. Tournament organizer Fifa has said it is the only authorized reseller and doesn’t allow ticket holders to charge a premium for their tickets. World soccer’s governing body has said it will scrap tickets if it can identify sellers on other platforms.

Fifa has sold almost 3 million tickets for the 64-game month long event, including seats for corporate sponsors such as Visa Inc. and Coca-Cola Co.

One of the people arrested was a 29-year-old Brazilian woman who advertised tickets for 600 reais ($264), 20 times their face value, police said in a statement. The other was a man from Argentina, who is accused of trying to charge up to 1,300 reais for tickets to games at Rio’s Maracana stadium, police said in a separate statement.

Brazil, the bookmakers’ favourite to win a record-extending sixth World Cup, will play Croatia in the tournament’s opening game on 12 June. Bloomberg

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