We received information from members of the public who said people were buying counterfeit tickets to the Jack Daniel's tent at the Durban July..." Photo: Charlie Riedel

Durban - Event organisers in Durban are infuriated that members of a syndicate responsible for fake passes to sponsors’ parties and concerts at the Durban July, were let off the hook by police.

This comes after members of the provincial crime intelligence unit arrested a Johannesburg counterfeit syndicate in Durban last Sunday, allegedly caught with Durban July event passes worth more than R2 million as well as entry tickets to the racing event.

The six suspects were arrested for allegedly hacking into the computer systems of various events companies and issuing fake tickets.

The arrest was made at the Good Sunday concert at Moses Mabhida Stadium People’s Park last weekend.

A source close to the investigation, who could not be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said that the suspects are believed to be linked to a printing company in Johannesburg.

“We received information from members of the public who said people were buying counterfeit tickets to the Jack Daniel’s tent at the Durban July as well as VVIP tickets to the event and to the concert on Sunday,” said the source.

Sobukwa Jali, director of Jali Events, hosted the Good Sunday concert.

“I am angry that this syndicate has not been investigated. Millions of rands go into these events and it is a huge loss of revenue to us. We physically caught these men with almost six bags of passes and tickets to these events,” he said.

Airey Scott Events, which hosted the Jack Daniel’s Boomtown tent at the Durban July was also affected. One of the directors, David Airey, said: “People entered the tent using counterfeit tickets but this was monitored and we kept a close watch out for this. I am also aware of the syndicate. It is disappointing to know that nothing was done,” said Airey.

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident, saying “Police arrested six men, aged between 25 and 35, and charged them for contravening the Safety and Recreational Events Act after they were found selling the event tickets without the organisers’ permission. They appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and the charges were withdrawn due to insufficient evidence,” said Zwane.

Spokeswoman for the Vodacom Durban July, Gill Simpkins, said that she had been unaware of the syndicate or counterfeited tickets

“This is handled by the police. We will get this information next week when an official meeting is held with all of the organisers,” she said.

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Sunday Tribune