Duty free crime racket is smashed at Gatwick Airport

UK. Fifteen people have been arrested at Gatwick Airport, for alleged large-scale thefts of duty free items that were due to be loaded on aircraft.

Local online media This is Sussex said that 11 of those arrested worked for airport catering provider Gate Gourmet.

The report said that Sussex Police had seized a large quantity of property, including “tens of thousands of pounds in cash and large amounts of cigarettes, jewellery, watches, perfume and red diesel” [the gas oil not the men’s fragrance -Ed].

Gate Gourmet had alerted Sussex Police after noticing apparent discrepancies in its stock-control systems in February.

Gate Gourmet Interim Managing Director David de la Torre told the media company: “I am extremely disappointed to see that some of our colleagues are alleged to have been involved in illegal activities because, if proven to be true, this undermines the hard work that Gate Gourmet employees strive to deliver for our customers daily.”

How This is Sussex reported the police breakthrough

Detective Inspector Rob McPhilemy added: “The execution of the warrants today is the result of a long-running investigation into the theft of large amounts of duty free goods at Gatwick Airport before they could be sold. Intelligence that our officers have collected over several months has led to the arrests and seizures of items worth tens of thousands of pounds.”

Pilferage of duty free items is a major problem for airlines and inflight concessionaires worldwide.

Food & Beverage The Magazine eZine