IGIA loader arrested for spree of thefts targeting passengers’ baggage

New Delhi: The Delhi Police have arrested an airport loader involved in a spree of thefts targeting passengers’ baggage at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here.

The arrest follows the recovery of stolen items, including high-end wristwatches and an iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Delhi Police said on Thursday.

The accused has been identified as Neeraj Kumar, a resident of Delhi’s Qutub Vihar area.

Devesh Mahla, DCP, IGI Airport, stated that the case, registered on June 29, at IGI Airport police station, began with a complaint lodged by a traveller heading to Halifax, Canada, with his family.

The victim, who was availing wheelchair assistance from Lufthansa Airlines, reported the theft of a brand new iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB worth approximately Rs 1.75 lakh from his luggage during the check-in process. He suspected that the person assisting them with the wheelchair had been closely observing their actions.

Later, a dedicated team led by Inspector Yashpal Singh, SHO IGI Airport, and supervised by ACP Virender Mor, delved into the case. They reviewed CCTV footage and interrogated all the loaders from the shift in question. Ultimately, Neeraj Kumar, an employee of BWFS confessed to the theft of the iPhone and revealed involvement in numerous other such incidents.

Shockingly, Neeraj disclosed that several staff members from different airlines had collaborated with him in these thefts, Mahla confirmed.

The investigation also uncovered irregularities in the adherence to guidelines issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). Allegations of complicity emerged against officials from Lufthansa and Spicejet, prompting further scrutiny and potential legal action. Apart from the stolen iPhone 14 Pro Max, the police recovered 13 high-end branded wristwatches from the accused.

Furthermore, the efforts of the police have led to the recovery of 35 stolen mobile phones, an Innova car, a motorcycle, household articles, gold and silver items, and additional high-end wristwatches in 2023 alone, all linked to thefts at IGI Airport, he added.

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