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Touts flood eBay with black market tickets

340,000 during 2005, estimates security outfit

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Some 340,000 black market tickets to gigs and sports events will be traded on eBay over the next 12 months, according to research from security outfit Group 4 Securicor.

Its probe into black market tickets in the UK has found that punters will shell out around £11.4m 2.23m dodgy tickets over the coming year, with eager customers prepared to pay through the nose to touts for tickets to top events such as the FA Cup, Wimbledon and pop concerts.

Group 4 Securicor adds that almost 400,000 black market tickets will be sold via work email: "Employers should be aware that they could be exposed to litigation and censure, for allowing computer networks and email systems to be used for the unauthorised resale of tickets."

While Group 4 Securicor has highlighted the issue of illegal ticket sales, a US man has recently pleaded not guilty to flogging non-existent sports tickets to unwary eBay users.

Gilbert Vartanian, 33, is accused on selling $100,000 worth of tickets to football, racing and boxing events as well as expensive Rolex watches. However, those who purchased the tickets and items claim they never received the goods.

Vartanian entered a not guilty plea when he pitched up in court last Thursday in Sacramento, California. He is due to appear in court on 9 February. ®

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