News | Sunday, 07 June 2009
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Air Malta handler arraigned on ‘shoe swap’ theft

National airline Air Malta yesterday confirmed with this newspaper that Carmel Falzon – a handler in its employ – was arraigned in court after being caught stealing a pair of trainers from a British traveller’s luggage.
The alleged thief was apprehended after the tourist alerted authorities that upon his arrival to London on 18 May, a pair of new trainers which he had packed in his luggage was nowhere to be found. Instead, the traveller found a pair of old, tattered shoes which did not belong to him – giving away that his luggage had been tampered with.
A report lodged with Malta International Airport (MIA) security triggered an investigation into the case, and in no time, by use of a CCTV security system, airport security nailed the alleged culprit. A report was passed on to the police.
The Briton sent back the old pair of shoes to Malta to help out in the investigation.
An Air Malta spokesperson said that “the employee has been placed on forced leave pending the conclusion of internal investigations.”
As stipulated in the airline’s collective agreement, an investigation is to be carried out by the airline prior to the employee being taken to a board of discipline.
Asked whether the airline is planning to implement new measures so that no such incidents are repeated, the spokesperson said: “security measures at the airport largely fall under MIA’s jurisdiction.”


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