6,900 Olympic tickets bought through fraud, say organisers

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organisers are investigating the fraudulent purchase of 6,900 tickets worth JPY180 million that were obtained in an online lottery for Japan residents.

“We are consulting with the police on this matter, and if there are other cases where unauthorised purchases are suspected, we will deal with those as needed,” Tokyo organisers said in a statement yesterday.

Organisers were in the process of voiding the tickets but did not suggest who was involved. They said they were bought using fraudulent IDs.

Ticket interest in next year’s Tokyo Olympic is unprecedented with demand at least 10 times above supply, and probably much greater.

Earlier this year Japan passed a law that prohibits ticket scalping, with a JPY1 million fine and a one-year jail term — or both.

However, the law has large loopholes and does not apply to tickets distributed for free or given away as gifts, or tickets without a purchaser’s name. This applies to many tickets coming from the International Olympic Committee, the 206 national Olympic committees, or major sponsors.

In a separate matter, organisers have announced the results of their latest ticket lottery for Japan residents.

The outcome is much like the first lottery in May: tickets are very tough to get, and many in Japan will be left out.

Organisers said 1.4 million people applied in the August phase, and only 120,000 were successful landing 350,000 tickets.

Tokyo organisers said they have now sold 3.57 million tickets to Japan residents in both lotteries. The Japanese public is slated to get between 70-80 per cent of the estimated 7.8 million tickets that are listed as available.

The rest are for sale outside Japan through Authorized Ticket Resellers — the Olympic agents contracted to sell tickets outside Japan.