Blackburn man held in football tout probe
10:14pm Tuesday 4th March 2008 in Sport
A BLACKBURN man has been arrested at Manchester United's ground tonight after a police investigation into ticket touting and money laundering at top Premier League clubs.
The 32-year-old man was arrested at Old Trafford during United's Champions League game against Lyon.
The man was arrested on suspicion of fraud, ticket touting and money laundering.
Police believe the scale of the fraud may run into hundreds of thousands of pounds and that tickets from a number of Premier League clubs were traded at inflated prices through a website.
Two houses in Blackburn were also searched in connection with the investigation, led by the Metropolitan Police.
The suspected ticket tout, who was taken to Blackburn police station, was arrested by officers from Lancashire Police acting on behalf of the Metropolitan Police.
Detective Sergeant Will Hodgson, of the Met Police public order crime team unit, said: "Ticket touting is not only illegal but it can lead to an increase in violence at football games, primarily through segregation breakdown.
"Genuine fans should not buy tickets from touts as they are potentially fuelling violence and lucrative criminal activity."
The investigation, which started last October, was funded by the UK football policing unit working in partnership with the Football Association and the Premier League.
The Met Police said that the investigation was continuing but released no further details.