Gardaí are understood to be preparing to make contact with several Liverpool fans who were sold fake packages to the club’s recent match against Chelsea at Anfield. More than 60 people paid hundreds of euro each for the trip, only to discover on arrival at airports and hotels that their tickets didn’t exist.
The drama unfolded on the morning of Saturday January 31 when fans started arriving at Shannon Airport, only to discover the airline tickets they had paid for as part of a package tour had not been booked. Others made their way to Liverpool to find hotel reservations had not been made.
Claims that the fraudulent packages, which saw at least 62 people fork out for non-existent trips to the match, were organised in conjunction with a well known Liverpool supporter and other supporters’ groups are understood to be completely without foundation.
“There was 15 people down in Shannon Airport waiting to get a flight out,” one woman, who had paid for non-existent tickets, told the Galway Advertiser. “There were also people waiting in Knock Airport and there were 30 people in the Liverpool Radisson Hotel who were told to get their own flight and that the accommodation and match ticket was organised by this person.”
One organiser arrived at the airport and was confronted by angry fans who had discovered their airline tickets were not available as promised.
“The lad had the cheek to turn up at Shannon Airport at 4.30am on Saturday morning to meet 15 people to tell them that there was a problem and that we had to book our own flights out, but when we get to Liverpool the person that he was blaming would refund us our money,” she revealed. “We were all standing in Shannon Airport till 8am that morning wondering what in the name of God went on and firing questions at him.”
The organiser later returned to Galway in the car of one of the duped supporters, and asked to be dropped off at Galway Garda Station to report the matter.
A spokesperson for Galway Garda Station said gardaí were aware of the matter but had yet to receive a formal complaint from any of those affected by it. Gardaí hope to make contact with the fans in the near future.