07:59 GMT29 March 2020
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    Chinese criminal gangs are involved in a money-making scheme in which they buy tickets for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games from registered vendors and then resell them at much higher prices, according to the South China Morning Post, citing Japanese media.

    The gangs have hired hundreds of Chinese people who live in Japan to buy these tickets and then sell them at higher costs to other Chinese people interested in viewing the games next year, the South China Morning Post reports. 

    While only the person registered to buy the ticket can enter the stadium, according to the South China Morning Post, the registered owner’s name can be “changed online with an ID and password issued at the time of purchase,” allowing Chinese buyers to bypass the security system and resell tickets to interested people. 

    Demand for tickets is reportedly so high that many people have been unable to purchase them from official sites, and the criminal groups’ resale scheme has only further spiked the demand.

    An unidentified Chinese national, who works for one of the groups attempting to make money through the resale, revealed to Friday, a Japanese magazine, that he is paid to stand in line and buy tickets from registered vendors, the Post reported. It is unclear if the group he works for is associated with any Chinese gangs or if it’s a separate entity.

    According to the Chinese national, he was able to resell a ticket to a men’s soccer final for almost $6,000 after initially buying it for only $632. He estimated that Chinese resellers had bought about 300,000 tickets out of the initial May offering of 3.9 million.

    “Soccer, basketball, table tennis, volleyball and swimming were in particularly high demand,” he said, the South China Morning Post reported. “Most of the buyers were wealthy people. We’ve got plenty of them in China these days.”

    Jake Adelstein, a crime writer and author of “Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Crime Beat in Japan,” is not surprised that the Olympic games are being exploited.

    “When they set the price for a single seat at the opening ceremony at US$3,000, there was never any doubt that it was going to be too attractive for criminals to pass up,” he said.

    “If you’re desperate to go and you have US$3,000 to spend for the opening ceremony, then you’re going to pay US$4,000 without even thinking about it.”


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