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Tokyo: University students accused of scalping AKB48 tickets

Jota Sato
Jota Sato (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have accused three male university students of unlawfully obtaining a large quantity of tickets for concerts featuring all-girl idol group AKB48 for the purpose of resale, reports the Sankei Shimbun (June 14).

On October 25, 2017, Jota Sato (22), Shogo Takahashi (21) and a Korean national (21) purchased 20 tickets for a concert in Nara City, Nara Prefecture and other locations with a total face value of 96,000 yen at a convenience store in Soka City, Saitama Prefecture.

In obtaining the tickets, the suspects used a special printing machine to fabricate fake student identification and health insurance cards, documentation that is necessary to make a purchase. The suspects then sold the tickets online for between two and five times their face value.

The Takanawa Police Station accused the suspects of scalping under a Saitama Prefectural public nuisance ordinance. “There are a lot of people doing the same thing,” Sato was quoted. “We are still good people.”

The suspects are believed to have created about 800 fake identification cards while accumulating 4.6 million yen in sales over the past 18 months. When reselling the tickets, the suspects also provided the counterfeit identification cards, which are also needed to enter the venue, according to Nikkan Sports (June 14).

The matter emerged after the apprehension of a fourth suspect, also a male university student, who attempted to ride the Shinkansen bullet train free of charge. Known as kiseru, the fraud involves cheating on train fares by buying tickets only for the first and last parts of a ride. Fans of idol groups use the method to attend concerts around the nation at reduced cost.

During the investigation into the fourth suspect, he was found to be in possession of a fake identification card, which led police to the other three suspects.