Arrest of baggage thief at Delhi's IGI airport reveals widespread theft, airline officials' involvement

    The Hawk
    September14/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    New Delhi: Delhi Police have arrested a loader indulged in the theft from the passengers’ baggage at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, said an official.

    Thirteen high-end wrist watches and an iPhone 14 pro max were also recovered from the possession of the accused.

    Officials privy to investigation of such incidents also revealed that 25 people involved in “baggage thefts” have been arrested so far this year and extensive recoveries made from them.

    This year, police have recovered 35 stolen mobile phones, seven stolen household articles, along with 10 stolen gold articles, eight stolen silver articles and 13 high-end wrist watches stolen from the passengers’ baggage.

    “Majorly, the role of the officials of Lufthansa Airlines and Spicejet Airlines has come to light. To curb such incidents of thefts in the airlines, the responsible officials of the concerned airlines are being

    interrogated and charge-sheeted,” said the official.

    According to police, Anil Kapoor recently visited the IGI police station and reported that he and his family were en route to Halifax, Canada.

    “They requested wheelchair assistance from Lufthansa Airlines, and during the check-in process, while they were placing their luggage, they noticed that the person assisting them with the wheelchair was closely observing them. Anil Kapoor had a brand new iPhone 14 Pro Max, valued at approximately Rs 1,75,000, intended as a gift for his son in Canada,” said the Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI) Devesh Kumar Mahla.

    After arriving in Canada and retrieving their luggage, Kapoor realised that the iPhone was missing from his bag, and the lock had been removed.

    “Upon thorough investigation, including a review of CCTV footage and interviews with the baggage handlers on duty during that shift, one of the BWFS loaders, identified as Neeraj Kumar, residing in Goyla Dairy, confessed to stealing the mobile phone,” said Mahla.

    During continued interrogation, Neeraj revealed that he had stolen numerous items from passengers’ baggage in the past, with assistance from various airline staff members.

    “The investigation also revealed that airlines were not consistently adhering to the periodic guidelines issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, and there was collusion between airline officials and these thieves. Specifically, the involvement of officials from Lufthansa Airlines

    and SpiceJet Airlines came to light,” said the DCP.

    “To combat such theft incidents within airlines, responsible officials from the concerned airlines are currently undergoing interrogation and may face charges,” the DCP added.