Mumbai: The central Railway Protection Force (RPF) has recovered tickets worth more than Rs 9 lakh till March this year from illegal booking agents.
The officials have prosecuted at least 35 such agents on the central line during their surprise checks conducted in the past three months.
These illegal booking agents, or touts, create multiple fake personal identity document on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website. These agents later fill in the details on the ticket and sell it to passengers at a higher price.
RPF officials also said these touts use various software to book tickets in bulk. They seized 360 tickets from illegal agents in the period between January to March this year. At least 10,000 tickets were recovered from these agents in the same period last year.
The officials said that the illegal booking agents operate mostly during the festive season of Ganpati, Diwali and Durga Puja.
“After the month of April, these agents will again start operating as the summer vacation has begun and there will be a huge demand for reserved train tickets. Hence, we have formed two teams to conduct surprise checks at various stations,” said Sachin Bhalode, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner of Central Railway (CR).
The officials conduct checks at Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters and look for suspicious activities around railway stations as a preventive measure against the illegal booking agents.