TIRUPATI: The TTD vigilance wing had unearthed a major online seva ticket booking scam through which a person from Solapur in Maharashtra was found to be booking online tickets in bulk on fake Aadhaar cards and selling the same to devotees at a very high price. The accused was taking advantage of the eagerness of the devotees to participate in various sevas that are performed to the presiding deity at Sri Venkateswara temple, police said.
The issue came to light after a devotee complained to TTD EO Anil Kumar Singhal through ‘Dial Your EO’ about his inability to book an online seva ticket in spite of repeated attempts. The TTD releases various seva tickets, including Suprabhatam, Thomala and other Arjitha Sevas, online three months in advance.
Following the complaint, the TTD authorities asked the vigilance wing to probe into bulk booking of seva tickets and the possibility of fraud in the online seva ticket booking. The officials found that every time the online tickets are released, bulk booking is taking place from one particular IP address, which was traced to Solapur.
The officials also found that four devotees who booked online seva tickets from the particular IP address, would be having darshan on Friday. When they came for darshan, the officials caught and enquired them and came to know that they were actually in possession of fake Aadhaar cards, using which the tickets were booked.
When questioned, they told the vigilance officials that they purchased Suprabhatham Seva ticket, which costs Rs 240, for a whopping Rs 4,000 from Prabhakar of Solapur. Prabhakar is said to be selling the tickets for anywhere between Rs 4,000 and Rs 10,000 depending on the demand, the officials said.
The vigilance officials found that Prabhakar was booking 50 online tickets using the fake Aadhaar numbers whenever they were released.
After confirming the fraud, the vigilance officials informed the police who have registered a case and are investigating. It is learnt that Prabhakar was taken into custody in Solapur.
The modus operandi of Prabhakar of Solapur in Maharashtra is whenever a devotee approaches him
for a Seva ticket, he gives the fake Aadhaar card and affixes the photo of the devotee on it and sends him for darshan