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Monday November 19, 2007

Ticket touts sell fake bus tickets after counters close


 

TICKET touts at the Puduraya bus terminal are fleecing unsuspecting travellers espe-cially those who turn up at night after the counters are closed and are desperate to travel the next day. 

These touts who sell fake tickets conveniently begin their dirty work after most of the ticket counters on the first floor of the bus terminal are closed. 

Wants action: Ravi with a copy of the police report he made after he was duped into buying fake tickets by a tout in Puduraya at 11.30pm on Nov 30.
To avoid suspicion, they lure their prospective victims, usually those in need of tickets to travel the next day, to counters manned by young girls who will issue the fake tickets. 

Hundreds of people have pro-bably fallen prey to these cheats but only a handful have at-tempted to make a police report at the terminal’s police beat base – which is, amazingly, located just across from the ticket counters. 

Normal scene at Puduraya: Touts trying to convince a traveller to buy tickets from them.
However, many of the victims think twice about filing a report when told that they could only do so at the Dang Wangi Police Sta-tion. 

Dangi Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zulkarnain Abd Rahman confirm-ed that reports had been received from people who had been cheated by these Puduraya touts.  

However, he was unsure of the number of such cases. 

“I believe not many of the victims have come forward to lodge reports but I can assure that action will be taken,’’ he said, adding that arrests had been made in the past.  

M. Ravi, 33, from Kuala Lumpur, who was among the few who had lodged a police report after falling prey to a tout, said an Inspector from the Dang Wangi police station had asked him to bring the problem to the attention of the consumers association. 

Don’t be fooled: A tout trying to sell a bus ticket to a traveller outside the Puduraya bus terminal.
“The inspector wrote in his own handwriting that the case should be referred to the consumers association,” he said. 

Ravi had bought two tickets to Lumut from one of the counters after he was led there by the tout. 

“I bought the so-called tickets to Lumut at 11.30pm on Nov 30 for my friend and his wife. 

“I was issued a receipt which stated that RM40 as the amount paid to a bus company called Kesatuan for two persons. The receipt also showed that the bus would be departing at 8.30am on Nov 31 from Platform 14. 

“The bus never arrived and I was told by a girl at the Syarikat Kesatuan counter that the ticket was not genuine. She also told me that their tickets were only sold at the counter,” he told StarMetro

Ravi said he lodged the police report on Nov 2 with the hope the culprits would be brought to justice so that others would not fall prey to the cheats. 

A check by StarMetro revealed that the terminal was swarming with touts who were equipped with walkie-talkies during the day and night. 

These people behaved in an intimidating manner especially at night after the counters had been closed. They were seen hurling harsh words at commuters who refused to entertain them.  

While at the bus terminal, the Star Metro team obtained a ticket for a person to Ipoh from a male tout who took us to one of the ticket counters where a girl issued us with a ticket to Ipoh for RM14 by Delima Express Sdn Bhd.  

The ticket was obtained at just after midnight on Nov 15 and was meant for travelling on the next day at 11.30am. The girl also wrote Platform 5 as the place to board the bus and Konsortium as the bus to be boarded.  

Like Ravi and probably hundreds other victims, the said bus did not arrive the next day and a check at the Konsortium Express counter at the terminal proved that the ticket did not belong to their company. 

A staff member at the counter said bus tickets issued by the company were computerised and that each passenger was issued an individual ticket.  

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