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Australian man arrested over Ed Sheeran ticket fraud

A 33-year-old man has been arrested and charged with fraud after allegedly taking money for non-existent tickets to this week’s Ed Sheeran show in Brisbane.

In a move welcomed by AEG Ogden, operator of Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium (52,500-cap.), Queensland police has charged the man with two counts of fraud after he was discovered to have allegedly “contacted interested concertgoers on a non-authorised online ticket platform and offered to sell them tickets”. The victims, all women aged between 40 and 55, paid the man via bank transfer but never received the tickets.

“This is another clear example of buyer beware,” says Queensland police’s Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence. “I urge entertainment ticket buyers and all buyers of online products to keep control of their purchase.

“Only use the official authorised sellers and their platforms. Do not move away from those platforms to buy tickets or items, particularly if asked to. It is most likely you are being scammed.”

“This is another clear example of buyer beware”

AEG Ogden’s chief operating officer, Rod Pilbeam, comments: “More than 100,000 tickets have been sold for next week’s concerts. However, if they were not purchased through the authorised agent, Ticketek, there could be cause for concern.”

Pilbeam says ticket touting is a “multi-million dollar industry that has attracted major criminal groups and tempted major companies to participate in the easy profits that flow from this deceit”, adding that “patrons should buy their tickets only from the authorised ticket outlet”, which for Suncorp Stadium is TEG’s Ticketek.

Sheeran’s ÷ world tour has broken records down under, selling more than 1m tickets for 18 dates across Australia and New Zealand. He will play Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 March.


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Oz festivalgoer busted – after writing his name on drugs

A man was arrested at an Australian music festival after police identified him as the owner of a bag of MDMA – because he’d written his name and phone number on it.

The 21-year-old man, from Dalby, Queensland, was detained at Maroochydore Music and Visual Arts Festival on 26 August after police sniffer dogs discovered a ziplocked bag containing the party drug on his person.

The hapless festivalgoer forfeited any plausible deniability as to the ownership of the drugs when, according to Queensland Police Service senior constable Ben Cole, officers made the “surprising” discovery that the bag had “[Name]’s MDMA, if found call [number]” scrawled on it marker pen. “One can never be too careful,” jokes Cole.

The man will appear in Maroochydore magistrates’ court on 29 September on drug possession charges.

“One can never be too careful”

More than 6,300 people attended the one-day festival, which was headlined by local heroes Alison Wonderland, Bernard Fanning, the Presets and Gang of Youths.

Police made 52 drug-related arrests at the festival, although Maroochydore police’s Matt Robertson said attendees were, on the whole, well behaved. “Unfortunately however, several individuals were spoken to relating to drug matters,” said Senior Sergeant Robertson.

A recent study analysing more than 25,000 records from PillReports.net found Australia’s ecstasy is among the least pure in the world, with pills containing on average just 16% MDMA.


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