LONDON (AP) — A German man and a Slovakian woman were charged Saturday by British police over alleged attempts to illegally resell tickets to the Olympic opening ceremony, while 16 others have been arrested in the last two days over similar offenses.
Scotland Yard said that 57-year-old Wolfgang Menzel and 30-year-old Maria Bukranova were charged after plain clothes officers carried out an operation against ticket scalpers — known as ticket touts in Britain — on Friday night.
The two — and five others — were arrested just hours before the ceremony began at London's Olympic stadium.
Police said that three men are being questioned, one woman has been released without charge and another man has been bailed pending further inquiries.
Two other people were arrested over the alleged theft of two Olympic lane passes — which allow the bearers to use lanes on London roads reserved for officials and VIPs.
Scotland Yard said it had also detained 11 men on Saturday over suspected ticket fraud — two have been bailed while inquiries continue, one has been freed and eight are being questioned.
"My team has been working tirelessly to clamp down on ticket touts. We have been, and will continue to seek out and take robust action," Det. Supt. Nick Downing said.
"Ticket touting is illegal and is a clear exploitation of those who genuinely wish to experience the games first-hand," he said.