New Delhi: Landing at your destination without your full luggage can be no less than a nightmare. Some passengers experience something similar as a gang of loaders working at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport have been stealing valuables from passengers’ check-in baggage. In a joint operation, the Delhi Police along with the vigilance department of the airlines at the IGI airport have arrested 8 loaders working with ground handling agencies for stealing valuable items such as cash, jewellery, and electronics items from the flyers’ baggage. The arrested individuals have been identified as Deepak Pal, Gautam Kumar, Moshin Khan, Rahul Yadav, Yashwinder, Pappi Kumar, Neeraj Kumar, and Kamal Kumar. Police said that they all had formed a gang.
According to Ravi Kumar Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI airport), on January 11, the joint teams apprehended one loader Deepak Pal, who attempted to pilfer from a registered check-in baggage of a passenger who was to board the flight.
“On questioning, he disclosed that he was working as a loader in a ground handling assistance providing company since 2018. He started committing petty thefts from the baggage of the passengers whenever he got an opportunity,” said the DCP. Slowly and gradually, he came in contact with seven other loaders and ground handling staff of other airlines and agencies.
“As they all were living in close vicinity and were working in almost the same timing shifts, they all in active connivance and with ulterior motives formed a gang and started committing baggage theft at a large scale,” said the official.
“Raids were conducted and all other seven accused were arrested. A huge quantity of stolen articles was recovered from their possession including gold and silver jewellery worth Rs 10 lakh, 6 branded watches, Apple iPhone, cash of Rs 1,15,000, and other articles,” said the official.
Explaining the modus operandi of the gang, the DCP said that all the accused used to work in active connivance with each other.
“The accused used to commit theft of items from the bags of the flyers and used to hide the stolen articles inside the lockers and other places within the airport. Later, whenever they got an opportunity, they used to hide the stolen articles inside their undergarments and slip outside from the airport,” the official said, adding that efforts are being made to trace the other beneficiaries and purchasers of the stolen goods.
The DCP further advised frequent flyers and air passengers to keep their valuable items such as cash, jewellery, and electronics items inside the hand-held luggage. “Valuable items should always be carried in hand-held luggage to ensure its proper care,” the police officer said.
(With inputs from IANS)