NEWS

Fake bus tickets get KTEL man a free ride in custody

An employee of the KTEL intercity bus firm who worked at an Athens ticket booth was allegedly involved in a profitable sideline over the last 10 months by regularly selling customers fake tickets and pocketing the money, police said yesterday. The 50-year-old man, who has not been named, was arrested at the Liosion Street depot in central Athens on Thursday after a sting operation by officers from the financial crimes department of the Attica police force. The suspect was due to be charged by an Athens prosecutor yesterday. Officers said that the man had been selling fake tickets worth 20 euros apiece to unsuspecting travelers since January this year and made some 11,900 euros from his entrepreneurial venture. Police were tipped off about his activity and an undercover officer posed as a customer on Thursday, buying a fake ticket using a marked note. A search of the intercity bus on which the officer was meant to travel revealed that another 10 passengers were holding fake tickets. The suspect was arrested and another eight duds were found in his possession, police said. Authorities warned commuters yesterday to be on the lookout for fake tickets on all forms of public transport and not to buy tickets from market traders.