(This story was first published in Maharshtra Times on September 9)
In a major development, at least 50 agents involved in the black marketing of railway tickets using an illegal application have been arrested.
The ticket scam spreads from West Bengal to Assam, Bihar and Gujarat. Apart from this, the Railways has also seized tickets worth around Rs 5 lakh.
The gang of agents involved in black marketing of tickets had become active after more trains were allowed to function in the unlock-4 process. However, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) had kept an eye on such suspicious activities.
Giving more information about the scam, RPF Director-General Arun Kumar said that the tickets were booked with the help of an illegal software operated through a mobile app in which the captcha, bank OTP were being bypassed to book tickets.
The RPF has also stopped the app named Real Mango which was being used for confirmed ticket bookings.
“The software itself was working to fill in the passenger and payment details and the agents often used it for instant ticket booking,” he said.
In addition, Arun Kumar said that the IRCTC’s website was being logged through IRCTC ID with the software. “This illegal software was being sold through a five-tier structure. Bitcoin was being paid for this. The main accused operating the illegal software has been arrested from West Bengal. This black marketing of tickets has been completely shut down.”
The developer of the software had advertised the product on YouTube. Later, police reached out to members of the gang. Following that, the RPF units of North-Central Railway, Eastern Railway, and Western Railway nabbed some suspects and the scam was unearthed.
Read this story in Marathi