15 Dec, 2023 @ 17:49
1 min read

EXPOSED: Airport workers have stolen almost €2million worth of jewellery, cash and other items from suitcases belonging to British and other tourists at a major airport in Spain

DISGRACE: Haul of items stolen from tourists' suitcases

DOZENS of airport workers are being investigated in Spain for allegedly robbing cash, jewellery and other items from suitcases of unsuspecting tourists.

A total of 14 workers have been arrested while a further 20 remain under investigation.

The Guardia Civil launched an investigation after receiving a slew of complaints and denuncias from travellers from the UK and other countries.

Photos of the stolen goods show UK bills, watches, jewellery and other precious valuables.

All those being probed work at the Sur-Reina Sofia Airport in Tenerife.

DISGRACE: Haul of items stolen from tourists’ suitcases

They are facing charges of robbery, money laundering and theft, as well as belonging to a criminal organisation.

Police say the accused ‘took advantage of their status as airport workers’ to steal the goods.

When suitcases were transferred to a plane’s hold, they were done so at a slower pace and with greater distance between each one, to allow time to rummage through them and take what seemed valuable, it is alleged.

The robberies are said to have taken place in the carriage of the plane, just metres from the victims sitting in their seats above.

The operation was structured and well organised, say police, from choosing the flight, to hiding the stolen objects and getting them out of the airport undeteced.

The mafia-style ring went on to sell the stolen goods online and shared the profits among them.

The Guardia Civil carried out several searches, including the workers’ lockers and at their homes and vehicles.

In total, 29 high-end watches, 120 pieces of jewellery (gold and precious stones), 22 high-end mobile phones, electronic devices, 13,000 euros in cash and a high-end vehicle were seized.

The value of all the stolen objects recovered amounts to an incredible €1,953,576.

The detainees also managed to sell many objects in physical and virtual second-hand stores, leading to 27 jewellery stores in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife being investigated.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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