Paris airport baggage handlers go on trial for theft

28th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 27, 2007 (AFP) - Twenty-one baggage handlers accused of stealing money, telephones and cameras from suitcases at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport between 2001 and 2003 went on trial here Wednesday.

PARIS, June 27, 2007 (AFP) - Twenty-one baggage handlers accused of stealing money, telephones and cameras from suitcases at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport between 2001 and 2003 went on trial here Wednesday.

The trial opened in the northern Paris suburb of Bobigny just six months after 20 other people, mostly baggage handlers, were convicted of theft at the same airport in 2004 and 2005.

The accused in the latest case worked in Terminal 2F, which handles long-haul Air France flights.

The court heard that the richest pickings were in luggage from Japan, China and English-speaking countries.

Cash, perfumes, video cameras, mobile phones, cigarettes and brand-name pens were among the objects stolen.

One of the accused, 24-year-old Christophe Vairetto, admitted he had searched 250 bags to see what he could steal during a six-month contract he held in 2002.

Another, Tarik Dada, 35, told the court that "as soon as someone spotted an interesting bag, the others would keep lookout for him."

Air France received 1,700 theft claims from passengers in 2002. The airline estimated the value of goods stolen between March 2001 and March 2002 at 1.35 million euros (1.8 million dollars).   

The accused were secretly filmed for a month. They were later arrested and when shown the video of their acts most of them admitted having either stolen or kept look-out while a colleague stole from bags, officials said.

At the time of the events in question they were employees of Aquaraile Assistance, which has since becime Bag Ground Services (BGS).

The trial is expected to end on Friday.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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