Mumbai Crime: Ticket agents go rogue on a booking spree

Are you still using booking agents for your tickets? Read on. The Dadar Railway Police Force has arrested two authorised agents who were using a dubious software to book tickets in bulk and profit from it. With it, they have also seized 43 e-tickets that were booked using fake IDs.

How they did it
Agents can book e-tickets to aid passengers with tatkal tickets, but they can’t book between 8 am and 8.30 am (when booking plans open for the day), between 10 am and 10.30 am for AC tatkal (for the following day), or between 11 am and 11.30 am of sleeper coach (for the following day).

To bypass that, Satish Baranwal (29) and Vikar Kumar Baranwal (24), running A2Z Online Services in Mahavir chawl at Lower Parel, were booking in bulk by using two softwares. “They had downloaded Redmirchi and Neo that users can use to book two to six tickets per transaction. With it, they procured e-tickets in bulk, which, at the time of the raid, stood at 43 e-tickets (R7,280 each), amounting to Rs 1,14,865,” said an officer from the team that led the joint operation between the Anti-Tout Squad and the Dadar RPF.

On the radar
The duo first popped up on the radar of the railway vigilance team, which keeps track of the sales of e-tickets, when it noticed unusual activity from their centre. The joint team was then briefed; on Saturday at 5.30 pm, officers conducted a raid along with the NM Joshi Marg police. At the time, the duo was still booking tickets on multiple windows at a time.

Preliminary inquiry shows that they sold every ticket at a premium of Rs 200 to Rs 500 extra. Both were arrested and booked under section 143 (unauthorised carrying on business of procuring and supplying of railway tickets) of Railway Act, 1989.

Rs 1.14 lakh Total value of the tickets seized from the spot
Rs 500 The maximum premium at which the duo sold each ticket



Source: Mid-Day

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