Five held in London 2012 Olympic ticket raids

Seb Coe at the Olympic site
Image caption Official tickets for the 2012 Games go on sale from 15 March

Five people have been arrested in an operation targeting ticket fraudsters ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Operation Podium team made the arrests in a series of early morning raids in London and Dorset.

Four men were held in London and a woman in Wimborne, Dorset.

They were arrested on suspicion of offences ranging from fraud, money laundering, handling stolen goods and failure to appear at court.

A 43-year-old man was held at a business address in Brixton, south London, on suspicion of fraud.

Officers suspect the business address may be a front for an illegal ticket website, selling unauthorised tickets to football matches.

'Disrupting networks'

A 25-year-old man was arrested in Bromley, south London, on suspicion of money laundering.

Detectives said they have information which may link him to processing money on behalf of fraudulent internet ticketing sites.

A 57-year-old man was arrested in Edgware, west London, on suspicion of handling stolen goods and fraud.

Officers believe he could be involved in selling stolen rugby match tickets on an auction site.

A 28-year-old man is in custody after being arrested in Kensington, west London, for failing to appear at court, and for recall to prison.

A 36-year-old woman held in Dorset on suspicion of fraud is suspected of being involved in running online ticket sites that fail to supply tickets people have paid for.

Det Ch Insp Nick Downing, in charge of Operation Podium, said: "Today's operation is about disrupting those organised criminal networks involved in illegally selling tickets.

"By taking action now we are aiming to make this a hostile environment for them to operate.

"The victims are those people who get scammed, have their personal and credit card details stolen and who ultimately don't get to the event they want to see."

Official tickets for the 2012 Games go on sale from 15 March with Weymouth and Portland in Dorset hosting the sailing events.

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