Police in Madrid on Tuesday arrested five people in connection with the sale and distribution of forged tickets for concerts and bullfights, among them the sold-out Lady Gaga show in the capital's Palacio de Deportes last December.
Among those detained was the mastermind of the operation, a 24-year-old Madrid resident, whose apartment contained diverse apparatus for the falsification of tickets and forgeries for concerts by Shakira, Lady Gaga and bullfighting events.
The group's modus operandi was to obtain real tickets for events and then copy them onto official paper stamped with the logos of widely recognized businesses. The copies produced were very realistic, police said, and forged "on paper of very high quality." After the tickets had been produced, they were sold on third-party websites and then either delivered by hand or courier without means of refund.
For the Lady Gaga concert alone, 200 people were sold false tickets and reported by at least half of the victims in police stations across the capital. The haul for the forgers was worth up to 30,000 euros.
The five stand accused of fraud, falsification of documents and organized crime. Police also seized material for the duplication of university degrees.