Wednesday, 29 November 2023
Three baggage handlers accused of stealing cash, jewellery and other items from the suitcases of three passengers at Ercan Airport, were arrested, Kibris Postasi reports.
The three men arrested have appeared in court.
According to a police press release, the thefts at Ercan occurred between September and November.
The three suspects, SA (41), HY (45) and AV (29), employed by Istanbul Handling Company, were identified and arrested during a large-scale police investigation called Operation Check-In.
The police investigation revealed that the individuals in question had opened the suitcases belonging three separate people who were leaving the country and had stolen cash in the amounts of 20,000 TL, £2,700 and 20 Euros, as well as various items of jewellery, electronic goods, wristwatches and sunglasses.
The police stated that on October 24, 2023, around 02:00, the suspects opened the suitcase belonging to EÖ, who was leaving the country, and stole a set of jewellery consisting of an 18-carat gold men’s necklace, 18-carat gold men’s tag, 18-carat gold women’s necklace, tag, and earrings, as well as two 18-carat gold bracelets, one men’s wristwatch, and 20 euros in cash kept in the front pocket of the suitcase.
A police officer also noted that on November 6, 2023, around 00:40, the suspects opened the suitcase belonging to ÖD, who was leaving the country, and stole one single diamond ring, one five-stone diamond ring, one gold necklace, and earrings from the suitcase.
The police said that an investigation was initiated based on passenger complaints. The police officer revealed that they determined that the thefts occurred at the dates and times when the suspects were on duty.
Police Search Suspect’s Home
It was stated that during a search of the home of one of the suspect (SA), police discovered a number of mobile phones, laptops, tablets, headphones, Air Pods, jewellery and watches stowed away in his bedroom wardrobe.
These items were seized and taken as evidence.
The police stated that the suspect (SA) confessed to his crime in his statement, admitting that after the opening of Ercan’s new terminal, he and his two co-workers took items from numerous suitcases in the check-in area and then shared the spoils between themselves.
Meanwhile, the police investigation is ongoing, while camera footage is being examined and statements taken.
The three suspects were remanded in custody pending further investigation.