Mon, September 23, 2013

Canadian arrested for 'touting' Olympic tennis tickets

By QMI Agency


Switzerland's Roger Federer serves to France's Julien Benneteau in their men's singles tennis match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympics Games July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

A Canadian tourist spent two nights in a London jail, then pleaded guilty to scalping two tickets for Olympic tennis.

Kenneth Gaba, 38, was arrested Saturday near the grounds of the Wimbledon tennis club after police spotted him holding a newspaper in which it appeared he had something concealed, reports the Telegraph.

Cops watched as Gaba, said to be on vacation from Vancouver, handed two tickets to a man and received two 50-pound notes (about $150), the report said.

He spent the weekend in jail and pleaded guilty Monday to "touting," even though he said he was just trying to unload a pair of tickets he couldn't use after losing track of his travel companion.

Judge Ken Grant believed Gaba had bought the tickets legitimately online from Canada and accepted his explanation, the Telegraph reported. The judge waived the customary 300-pound fine and sentenced him to one day's imprisonment, which, as the judge pointed out, he had already served.

Attempts to reach Gaba were unsuccessful.

As of Monday - Day 3 of the Games - London police had arrested 29 people for illegal reselling of tickets and have formally charged 11 of them.

Meanwhile, Britons have voiced their frustration at being unable to secure tickets to events while seeing TV images of hundreds of empty seats at some venues.

In Canada it is only illegal to resell tickets at a price above face value.

--with files from Reuters