DOHA: Qatar announced its first arrests of World Cup ticket touts on Monday, with three foreign men detained outside official ticketing centers in Doha. Six days from the start of the tournament, the interior ministry said “three people of different nationalities” were arrested and now face criminal proceedings.
The ministry released a statement on Twitter but did not specify the nationalities of those arrested, only stating the men were caught “reselling tickets” outside “official outlets”. Queues form daily outside FIFA’s main ticketing centre in central Doha, with people hoping to purchase sought-after match tickets.
The statement said those arrested could face fines of up to 250,000 riyals ($68,000) for each ticket they were found to have sold. FIFA and the Qatari government repeatedly warn about fake World Cup merchandise.
Last week, authorities reported the seizure of 144 counterfeit World Cup trophies. Previously, car number plates illegally using World Cup imagery and counterfeit clothes using official logos have been targeted by authorities. Last year a factory producing perfume bottles with World Cup branding was raided. – AFP