A civil servant was arrested yesterday after he was found to have used a self-designed computer program to assist people buying train tickets on the Internet for the coming Chinese New Year holiday.
The 31-year-old suspect, identified by his last name as Lin, denied that he had profiteered from helping other people buy train tickets. Lin, however, did admit that he collected an undisclosed amount for providing this service, but said that the money was used to maintain his Web site “As U Wish.”
Black-market prices have doubled since tickets for the holiday period were bought up in only a few hours after the Taiwan Railway Administration began selling tickets a few weeks ago.
With the help of the TRA and Chunghwa Telecom Co., agents from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation found Lin at his residence in Taipei City and asked him to come in for questioning at the BCI.
A BCI spokesman said Lin was not the first one who has been arrested for taking advantage of the TRA's automatic reservation system for personal gain. Three other computer programers were arrested and indicted on similar charges last year.
The TRA set up a new reservation system several years ago to allow passengers to make reservations through the Internet, so they did not have to line up before ticket booths for a few days as they had to do in the past in order to buy tickets.
Still, train tickets for long holidays are still difficult to get hold of because scalpers often buy up tickets and then sell them for much higher prices.