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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Eiffel ex-staff in ticketing scam
Eiffel Tower
Millions of people visit the iconic attraction every year
Fifteen former workers at the Eiffel Tower in Paris have been fined after embezzling hundreds of thousands of euros from ticket sales.

The 12 women and three men were found guilty of breach of trust after they took advantage of a weakness in the ticket office's computer system.

They stole part of the attraction's sales revenues between 1996 and 2002.

They received suspended sentences of three months to one year, and fines of 2,000-10,000 euros (1,350-6,700).

EIFFEL TOWER FACTS
Built in 1887 by engineer Gustave Eiffel
The iron structure is 324 m (1,063 ft) high
6.7m people visited the tower last year

The former employees were also ordered to pay 700,000 euros to the company that manages the Eiffel Tower, a sum corresponding to the amount they embezzled.

Management uncovered the scam in February 2002 after receiving an anonymous letter from an employee.

An investigation led to charges against 15 of the 27 employees working at the ticket office.

Visitors to the Eiffel Tower, the tallest structure in central Paris, pay up to 11.50 euros to ride one of the lifts to the top.

The world's most popular monument, the tower is visited by around six million people every year.


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