Big shots taken for F1 ride


  • Nation
  • Friday, 28 Mar 2003

BY NELSON BENJAMIN

SEPANG: At least 14 corporate figures including Datuks were refused entry into their private rooms at the Sepang International Circuit when they “unknowingly” came with fake passes on the final day of the Petronas Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix.  

Security officers, who confiscated the passes at the entry gates on Sunday, described them as the first large-scale cheating involving tickets at the SIC. All the passes were worth at least RM130,000.  

The forged tickets, which looked like credit cards, bore the suite and seat numbers. 

“These passes were done professionally as they looked just like the real ones,” one SIC official said, adding that they were made using special printing machines and were not computer printouts.  

He said SIC was also checking whether there could have been more fake passes used during the race.  

There are 18 private rooms, known as corporate suites, at the main grandstand area. Each can cater to 50 guests at a time. 

These air-conditioned suites, which come in a package of about RM450,000, are usually booked by private companies for their clients. The package includes entry passes for three days, food and free flow of beverages. 

SIC lodged a report as soon as the race was over on Sunday and handed over the 14 passes to the police. 

A businessman also made a police report alleging that he was prevented from entering the corporate suite despite having a pass. 

He said he was shocked and embarrassed by the whole incident, alleging that he had bought the pass from a friend for over RM8,000. 

Newly appointed Sepang OCPD Supt Zahedi Ayob confirmed the police were investigating the reports.  

SIC officials at the gates suspected something amiss when they noticed several discrepancies with the passes. They immediately alerted their superiors who later confirmed the passes were forged and confiscated them. 

SIC press officer Azhar Ghazali said the police were handling the matter. 

Those with information on the case are urged to contact the KLIA police station at 03-87872222 or 03-87768222.  

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