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Wankhede tickets scam: Cops nab kingpin, unearth two more scams

The main man behind a black marketing scam for tickets to Sachin Tendulkar’s last international cricket match is now behind bars. The man, who happens to be a member of the Islam Gymkhana, was arrested yesterday. Meanwhile, the police unearthed two fresh cases of ticket black-marketing yesterday, and even made arrests in relation to one.


Game over for them: Spectators were seen leaving the Wankhede soon after Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed yesterday. Cops nabbed four touts who were collecting tickets from the departing spectators and reselling them. Pic/Bipin Kokate 

The accused has been identified as Abdul Rehman Phatani. Phatani and his brother own canteens in the Islam Gymkhana. “He had taken some 22 tickets allotted to the members of Islam Gymkhana and sold five of them for Rs 4,800 each and the remaining for Rs 5,500 each, when their actual price was just
Rs 1,000. Phatani owns a cloth store in Dongri,” said a police officer from the Property Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch. MiD DAY had reported on the scam yesterday (‘Cops on the hunt for kingpin of black-marketing scam’).

The police are also on the lookout for other members of clubs such as Bombay Gymkhana and Garware Club. “We have summoned their secretaries. Once they speak to us we will get a clear picture about how many tickets were leaked by various clubs,” said the police officer. Officers of the property cell, while manning the entrance to Wankhede Stadium, caught four men who were collecting tickets from people as they came out of the stadium after Sachin’s dismissal, only to sell them again.

In the net
“We detained Deepak Shetty, Uttam Munj, Mallikarjun Rathod and Zafar Khan, who were then handed over to the Marine Drive police. They were released on bail of Rs 12,500 each. They were collecting tickets and selling them. We charged them for black-marketing,” said the police officer. Cops chanced upon yet another instance of black-marketing outside Wankhede Stadium yesterday. The case came to light when they found four young men with complementary passes. They hailed from Hyderabad. When asked how they got their hands on the tickets, they revealed that they had been asked to deposit Rs 1,20,000 to a man’s bank account for four tickets.

“We are searching for the man behind this scam. With the help of his account number, we will get to the accused. He too must be a club member, as he had complimentary passes,” said Nandkumar Gopale, senior police inspector of the Property Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch.

The police said that several clubs that got free tickets and passes sold them for a premium to customers. “Right now we are looking at Bombay Gymkhana, Garware Club and Islam Gymkhana and their members. We suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Various club members get into this and sell tickets and passes for a premium,” said the police officer. 

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