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27 May 2011, 13:59 | Updated: 27 May 2011, 14:11
Black market UEFA Champions League final tickets worth an estimated £38,400 have been seized by the UK Border Agency at Luton Airport.
Officers found the 24 tickets for Saturday’s Wembley showpiece on Friday last week (20 May) when they searched a 21-year-old British man arriving at the airport on a flight from Barcelona.
The tickets, each with a face value of £225, had been hidden inside a magazine in his hand luggage. Officers also found a price list showing each had a street value of £1,600.
When questioned, the man insisted that he had been sent to Spain by a legitimate ticket broker, but checks with UEFA confirmed that neither the 21-year-old, nor the named broker were authorised to sell the tickets.
Carolyn Stott, UK Border Agency Assistant Director at Luton Airport, said:
“Interest in the Champions League is immense. Wembley is sure to be a sell out and millions more around the world will be watching Saturday’s game on TV.
“This man was taking advantage of that global popularity by buying valid tickets, with a view to selling them on illegally at inflated prices, making a handsome profit in the process.
“UK Border Agency officers are working hard at all our ports to prevent drugs, contraband or the potential proceeds of crime from entering or leaving the UK.”
The tickets have been returned to UEFA.