The Korea Herald


Airport baggage handler indicted on 208 counts of theft from luggage

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Nov. 28, 2023 - 17:35

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(Illustration by Park Ji-young) (Illustration by Park Ji-young)

A man working at Incheon International Airport has been indicted on charges of stealing 366 million won ($280,000) worth of items from passenger luggage, local prosecutors said Tuesday.

Incheon District Prosecutors' Office said it has indicted a 41-year-old man on 208 accounts of larceny from November 2021 to Oct. 6 this year.

He is accused of having taken high-end bags, jewelry and other expensive items from passenger luggage while working as a baggage handler in the airport's terminals. Police caught him after investigating reports from passengers who lost their belongings, including one claim concerning a lost Hermes bag worth 40 million won.

He told police he spent the money he made from reselling the items on living expenses.

The accused's job was to load bags into airplane cargo holds for a local airline subcontractor, and he allegedly stole the items during the smoking breaks of the five other employees that he worked with. In order to avoid being caught, he would only take a couple of items from each piece of luggage in spots without surveillance cameras.

The lack of surveillance footage has hindered the investigation, but officials traced the whereabouts of employees working at the company after having received multiple reports of missing items and managed to find that one of them had left the airport with some of the stolen goods.

Police raided the accused's office, home and car, confiscating 218 stolen items.