Wednesday, December 2, 2015   

Dodgy Disney tickets probed

Beatrice Siu

Thursday, October 03, 2013

A young Indonesian visitor hoping to spend yesterday with Mickey Mouse and friends instead ended up with cops after arriving at Hong Kong Disneyland with admission tickets that she had bought after a credit card scam.

Coming just over a week after another fraudulent ticket find, police are investigating whether the cases are linked and if Disneyland is a target for a crime syndicate.

A top drawcard for family visitors, more than 30,000 people can go through the gates in a single day.

Cynthia Puteri Utama, 24, had purchased four tickets from a small travel agency in Chungking Mansions, but when she and her friends arrived at the theme park yesterday the fun went out of their day before it had started.

Three of the tickets had been tagged as invalid after being purchased with a fake American Express credit card.

Police believe stolen personal data of a cardholder was used in the transaction.

A security guard spotted the dodgy tickets as Utama and her friends went through the Disneyland gates just after 11.30am.

The guard alerted police and Utama was arrested on suspicion of deception.

She then told officers how she bought the four tickets for HK$1,680 from a woman at the travel agency in Chungking Mansion at around 10am yesterday.

Disneyland admission tickets for people aged from 12 to 64 are priced at HK$450 for most days.

After Utama's story came out, police headed to Tsim Sha Tsui and raided the agency.

That included the arrest of a 45-year- old
woman named Lau, who claimed to be a staffer there.

She has been released on bail.

The likelihood of a syndicate being at work struck police almost immediately as officers are already investigating a similar case involving a visiting Singapore businessman.

It was at this point that officers concluded Utama was a victim and she was released without being charged.

In the Singaporean's case, he and four family members were picked up at the airport by a pre-reserved limousine.

During the ride to a hotel the Singaporean bought five Disneyland tickets from the driver for HK$2,000 - like in Utama's case a cut-price deal on the regular admission price.

It was a security guard who also spotted trouble when the Singaporeans arrived at Disneyland, noticing that one of the tickets was listed as voided.

The businessman spent five hours with police before being released on bail.

Police had already made a connection to fraudsters in an earlier case.

That involved a Russian man who supposedly purchased 10 Disneyland tickets with a credit card. But the credit card center later said no transaction was recorded and Disneyland voided the tickets.

It is believed a syndicate stole data on the Russian and created a fake card.

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