Chinese Gangs Making ... Fake Italian Train Tickets?

'Leonardo Express' forgeries found in shipping container
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2012 2:07 PM CDT
Police officers in Livorno pose with the boxes of fake tickets.   (Livorno Police)

(Newser) – Italian cops have seized phony train tickets worth a massive $35 million, but the forger of the "Leonardo Express" tickets didn't have the skills of the Rome airport train's namesake. The tickets, found in a shipping container from China, were paler than the genuine article and the numbers were printed in a different font, ABC reports. The tickets, found in a quantity big enough to take most of the population of Rome to the airport, were destined for a Chinese-run household goods store. Police believe they would have been distributed to travel agencies and other vendors throughout Italy.

"The seizure of this shipment is further proof of the versatility of Chinese criminal gangs," says the chief prosecutor in the port of Livorno. "These counterfeit companies are very skillful, and use different ports and company names each time to bring in their goods. We have to be ever alert." Trenitalia, Italy's main train operator, has been asked to probe whether large numbers of fake tickets were already in circulation, Il Messaggero reports. The company plans to introduce electronic turnstiles at the airport train station next month.

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