Paris airport workers charged with theft

July 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM

PARIS, July 21 (UPI) -- Police said they charged 17 baggage handlers at the Charles De Gaulle airport near Paris with stealing more than $230,000 worth of valuables from suitcases.

The handlers allegedly targeted morning flights heading to foreign countries, so it would be harder for the victims to file complaints, Radio France Internationale said.

The 17 workers had a lookout to prevent getting caught, and worked in teams of two to get through checkpoints more easily, authorities said.

Between 2008 and 2010, they allegedly stole valuables from the luggage of 3,000 passengers, police said.

One of the workers, identified as Karim, had $105,000 in his bank account. Another, identified as Khalid, had invested $65,000 in his niece's restaurant, Radio France Internationale said.

The arrests come after similar incidents at the airport in the past year.

In February, authorities discovered that a baggage handler had stolen more than 250 items from suitcases, and in November, 11 workers were arrested in November for similar crimes.

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