offpitch | 2015-04-17
Police confiscate 43 socí cards used by scalpers
FC Barcelona is cooperating with the police investigation
The police confiscated 43 socí cards with their corresponding season passes from three scalpers.
The scalpers, or those who buy tickets in bulk for reselling at a profit, had used up to 279 credit cards to buy the tickets. They then give the tickets to the clients of a travel agency that arrange trips to Barcelona for important Barça games.
The police said the arrest is the result of an investigation centered around the reselling of tickets that started a few days before the game against Manchester City on March 18.
Sources told the police of the scalpers' modus operandi. The tip resulted in the arrest of three men on March 24, two days after the recent El Clásico.
The men were arrested when the police, acting on sources, flagged down a car believed to be that of the scalpers. In it they found 279 credit cards and 43 FC Barcelona socí cards with their corresponding season passes, along with laptops and bags with other documents.
The three men, Spanish citizens from Madrid, explained that they were working for a travel agency and that they bought the tickets online.
But the investigators discovered that they were in fact reseling tickets that had been bought using socí cards that Barça members were letting them use for profit.
The scalpers were running the operation out of a central Barcelona hotel. It was found out that the socís would go there and leave envelopes at the front desk with their cards and season passes for the three men to collect. After the game had ended the socís would recover their things the same way.
Some of the documents found contained instructions for the use of the tickets in English and also a number to call in case of emergency to clear up any doubts that could have arisen.
The police are in contact with the club to find out what tickets were bought with the credit cards that were confiscated and what socí cards are associated with those sales.
They have also said that they are working in collaboration with FC Barcelona in the fight against ticket scalping, especially in this final stretch of the season which includes the Copa del Rey final played at the Camp Nou.
FC Barcelona issued a statement saying that they are working with the police and that they will present the cases of the socís in question before the club's Discipline Committee.
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