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Norway police seize Games tickets from Russia, Belarus

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Aug. 2, 2012, 2:34 p.m. |

A fan holds up a ticket while waiting for a preliminary boxing bout to start at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.
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OSLO - Norwegian police said on Thursday they had seized nearly a thousand Olympic tickets from Russia and Belarus and allegedly sold by an online ticket agency blacklisted by British authorities.

Swathes of empty seats at venues in sections reserved for Games officials, national Olympic committees and their friends and families have infuriated fans who missed out on buying tickets.

Officers confiscated 455 tickets in one batch after a Polish citizen attempted to bring them into Norway and seized nearly 400 tickets from a mail parcel after the shipping firm alerted them.

"The tickets we have seized come from Russia and Belarus," police spokesman Joo Arne Maana said. "The tickets were issued especially to Russia and Belarus and they are marked as 'not for re-sale'."

Tickets intended for the "Olympic family", which includes sponsors, national committees and friends, are often marked "not for re-sale" but police declined to specify what entity in Russia and Belarus the seized tickets were issued to.

The tickets were sold by Euroteam, a Norway-based online ticket agency, police said.

British police warned last month that Euroteam was not authorised to sell Olympic tickets and customers may not receive their tickets or may not be granted access to venues.

Euroteam could not be contacted for comment but said in a message on its website that it no longer sells Olympic tickets and offered a full refund to any unsatisfied customers.

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