Delhi Police have arrested seven loaders in connection with a series of thefts at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, officials said on Saturday. Police have also recovered a huge stash of gold ornaments, luxury watches, AirPods and foreign currency from the possession of the accused. The officials added that to curb such incidents of thefts in the airlines, officials of the airlines concerned are also being interrogated and chargesheeted.
“There has been a focus on the cases of baggage thefts throughout the year, and in order to curtail the thefts, a dedicated team was deployed to solve this case,” Devesh Mahla, Deputy Commissioner of Police said. According to officials, a team was constituted with the specific task of locating the thieves.
Also read: Air India Cancels Delhi-Tel Aviv Flights After Hamas Attacks Israel
“The team minutely scrutinized the CCTV footage and interrogated the whole batch of loaders in that shift. Finally, one of the loaders broke down and accepted stealing the said gold jewellery and selling it to a jeweller,” officials said.
They further said that on sustained interrogation, the accused further disclosed that he has stolen many more items from baggage of passengers in the past and various staff of different airlines have helped him to do so. Further, six more accused persons were named and interrogated, the police added.
During the course of interrogation, it was found that the airlines are not following the periodic guidelines issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, and letters issued by Delhi Police time and again and are working hand in glove with these thieves, the officials said.
The recovered items include a pair of golden earrings studded with white pearl, two pairs of golden earrings, a gold chain, a pair of gold tops, a golden small chain, a pair of golden earrings, a golden broken mangalsutra having one pendant, two pieces of a broken golden chain, a golden women’s chain, two luxury watches , two AirPods, a pair of sunglasses and currency of five different foreign countries.
“An FIR was registered wherein the complainant alleged that on September 16 came to Delhi from Melbourne by Singapore Airlines. Further, she had to take another flight from Delhi to Amritsar. While boarding for Amritsar, her baggage was found to be overweight for which she opened her bags and adjusted the articles. All this time, her assistant for the wheelchair that she had booked, was observing her. When she reached home, she realized that her gold valuables were missing from her purse that she had kept in her check-in baggage,” the police said.
The police further said that another incident occurred on August 16 this year where one Rajesh Sen, a resident of Goa, travelled from Delhi to Goa via Air Vistara airline flight no. UK-855 who handed over his luggage for check-in at the Air Vistara counter at IGI Airport T3 containing a high-end watch worth Rs 4,68,000.
“The watch was stolen from the baggage. It is pertinent to mention that the same ground handling company i.e. Air India SATS was managing the baggage handling with Air Vistara,” the police said. As per the officials, the investigation is underway and the officials of Air Vistara and Air India SATS will be charge-sheeted accordingly.