Tuesday, 22 September 2020
A homeless man who had set up an illegal trade in train and bus tickets in Brussels Airport was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment on Tuesday.
The man was caught in the act on 24 February when SNCB employees saw a lady hand over a €10 note in the train station at Brussels Airport. The man gave her back some change and then scanned a ticket at the gates at the exit of the station. In this way, the woman was able to leave the train station.
The man was then arrested and it turned out that he still had about ten Diabolo tickets in his pocket. These tickets are a mandatory €5.50 supplement for people travelling by rail to or from Brussels Airport.
In addition, he had 12 Go Passes (tickets for people under 26 for 10 single trips between two Belgian stations) and 341 bus tickets from De Lijn and STIB. Together, these tickets were worth more than €1,200.
The man also had €435 on him, as well as a few Swiss francs and British pounds.
As it was not clear whether the man had stolen the bus and train tickets, he was not prosecuted for doing so. However, he was tried for computer fraud and surreptitious work, for which he was sentenced to 12 months in prison by the court.
The homeless man himself did not show up for his trial and was sentenced in absentia.
The Brussels Times