Airport officer caged for stealing cigarettes - GulfToday

Airport officer caged for stealing cigarettes

UAE-Crime-750

Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter

An airport officer who snatched nine cigarette packs from a passenger’s bags will spend six months behind bars, a jury ruled.

The Arab defendant, 43, was working at a Dubai airport as a customer service officer heading a team of subordinates, when he snatched the cigarettes and two purses from two suitcases of a departing passenger.

The items were worth Dhs955, prosecutors said on Jul.21. He confessed during police interrogations. The Dubai Criminal Court has sentenced him to six months in prison to be followed by deportation.

In prosecution records, an Emirati sergeant said that several passengers complained that their hand luggage are taken from them at the departure gates instead of allowing them to enter with them inside the planes.

And that employees at the departure gates would tell them the luggage would be shipped in the luggage compartment. Upon arrival at their destinations, they would find them opened and valuables stolen from them.

“There were many complaints,” said the sergeant. “A number of undercover cops were dispatched within the airport posing as passengers. They monitored employees selecting bags to ship in the compartment.

“On Mar.13 the cops spotted the defendant opening two suitcases placed beside a departure gate where he was working. He removed nine packets of cigarettes and two purses and hid them inside his counter’s drawer.”

He then left the place while planning to return and pick them from there. The cops pursued, seized and took him inside an investigations office at the airport. He confessed to have robbed cigarettes from both suitcases. He revealed he stashed them in his counter’s drawer while planning to return shortly and take them to his friends to smoke them. The sergeant asked him whether he had committed a similar theft before. He confessed.

“He revealed he earlier stole cigarettes from bags of passengers,” explained the sergeant, adding that the incident in question was captured by the airport’s security cameras. He was handed to the airport police station.

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