When questioned, they revealed a modus operandi, wherein tickets are booked in Mumbai and supplied to the passenger via a courier, a method that probably results in bonafide passengers in UP not getting tatkal ticket even if they are in queue since early morning.
After grilling the gang members, the CBI said it was found that five passengers who boarded AC- II coach of the Godan Express in Gorakhpur on Wednesday morning, had purchased their tickets through a Mumbai-based tout. After boarding the train, the passengers told the TTE their ticket was with an associate travelling in the second class and they would show him the ticket at the next station. To convince the TTE, they showed the SMS stating the ticket was confirmed and also their identity card. The CBI officer said the passengers received the PNR number from the tout via SMS.
In the meantime, an agent of the tout landed at Babatpur airport in Varanasi with the tickets and handed it over to a courier at the airport to deliver it to the passengers on the train. The courier proceeded to Jaunpur, caught the train there and completed the handover, enabling the passengers to show the ticket to the TTE.
On why the tickets were booked in Mumbai, the CBI officer said there was a rush for them in UP whereas in Mumbai the schools and colleges had reopened and there were few passengers at the tatkal counters there. Thus, the agents in UP contacted their Mumbai counterparts and sold the ticket at a premium rate. For instance, a Rs. 2500 ticket went for Rs. 8000.
The courier nabbed by the CBI at Jaunpur railway station is a B Tech student. The CBI sleuths also nabbed a tout Aslam Khan and recovered two railway tickets from his possession. Khan was handed over to the Railway Protection Force.