How travel agents took IRCTC for a ride

By S. Vijay Kumar  www.thehindu.com

It was a specific input that led the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to knock the doors of eight travel agents across the country last week.

The simultaneous raids led to the unfolding of an innovative scam involving travel agents, officials and service engineers of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Having seized sufficient evidence to prosecute the case, the CBI is in the process of summoning the accused and beneficiaries of the scam.

Agency sources said the actionable input was that some agents had “special” or “privileged” access to the IRCTC’s ticketing system, enabling them to tickets for 36 passengers at a time. While others could only book only one ticket for a maximum of six passengers, these agents managed to book six tickets simultaneously through multiple accounts.

The CBI registered a case in Bangalore.

Special teams that conducted searches on the travel agents’ premises at eight places, including Chennai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, on Thursday seized incriminating documents and electronic gadgets linked to the alleged offence. Many confirmed train tickets found in the scene of crime were seized and cancelled. More info

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