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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
World Cup scammers 'made 60,000'
Pupils returning to Mayville High School in Portsmouth
Disappointed pupils returned to Mayville High School in Portsmouth
An internet company which sold fake World Cup tickets to children may have made more than 60,000 in the scam.

Nearly 400 schoolchildren from across the UK were told they had tickets as part of a 410-a-head tour to Germany.

"The promised tickets were ordered through the internet site of 'Tickets for All', a company purportedly based in Swanley, Kent," said police.

"The address was fictitious, the internet site was totally fraudulent and no tickets ever existed."

Approximately 55,000 was paid through Activ4 and 5,000 by private individuals
Thames Valley Police

Detectives investigating the scam are now probing a bank account, belonging to someone in Slough, Berkshire.

The victims, aged between 11 and 16, were turned away from the matches on Saturday after their tickets failed to materialise.

They returned home on Monday, with many said to be devastated they had missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Among those affected were pupils from Mayville High School in Portsmouth, Portchester School, Bournemouth, Dorset, North Bromsgrove High School, Worcestershire, Caistor Grammar School, Lincolnshire, and Drayton School in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Tony Blair
Tony Blair told the BBC he would try to help the pupils affected

The travel company, Activ4, which organised the tour said it had been made aware of a scam involving its ticket supplier on Friday afternoon.

It confirmed that its tickets were supposed to have been supplied by an agency based in Kent.

"Although most victims of the fraud had booked their tickets through Activ4, we are aware of a smaller number of individuals who have paid money directly to Tickets for All.

"Approximately 55,000 was paid through Activ4 and 5,000 by private individuals."

In an interview with the BBC, Prime Minister Tony Blair said that getting the youngsters back out to Germany for another game was "something we need to work on".

But the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) poured cold water on the idea, warning that it would be hard to source the required tickets.




SEE ALSO
Hopes dashed over World Cup scam
20 Jun 06 |  Hampshire
Children hit by World Cup fraud
19 Jun 06 |  Lincolnshire
Pupils miss out in World Cup scam
19 Jun 06 |  Hereford/Worcs

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