Luggage handler steals diamonds from plane's hold

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2013, 3:44am

An airport worker has been jailed for six months for stealing two jewellery items worth HK$96,000 from a passenger's luggage.

Acting Principle Magistrate Timothy Casewell said Choy Ka-keung, a 34-year-old luggage handler, took advantage of his job to illegally access passengers' belongings.

He stole a diamond ring and a pair of diamond earrings from an aircraft's cargo hold when the plane was being loaded.

Choy, who had been in the job for five years, is alleged to have committed the crime last year, when he stole from the plane which was about to fly to Nanjing .

The magistrate said his crime involved a breach of trust and the stolen items were valuable.

Choy had no criminal record and was said to have committed the crime because he needed money to marry.

A woman passenger had checked in on November 7 for her flight to the eastern Chinese city at about 4pm with her luggage, which contained the two items. But after landing, she found they were missing.

The next day, Choy took the ring to a Hung Hom pawn shop to sell them. The pawnbroker found the source of the item suspicious, but Choy claimed he had found it on a bus.

The shop owner reported the incident to the police and Choy was interrogated by two officers.

Initially, he insisted that he had found both the valuable items on the floor of the Citybus A22, which runs from Lam Tin to the airport.

But later, under caution, Choy admitted stealing the two items from the checked-in luggage while he was handling it in the plane's cargo hold.

He kept both items inside his trouser pocket and bag, until he finished work.