Pilfering gang caught at new Athens airport

Five luggage-handling workers at Athens airport are to be charged with stealing dozens of cameras, mobile phones and other valuables from passengers after being caught in a sting operation, police said yesterday. Detectives believe the gang had been at work for at least 10 months. The suspects were named as Swissport employees Panayiotis Doukas, 22, Eleftherios Tsitsipanis, 26, Ioakeim Sariyiannis, 29, Giorgos Nikolopoulos, 25, and Panayiotis Kriemadis, 32. The police investigation followed a spate of complaints from travelers, all of whom had been on flights whose luggage is handled by Swissport – one of the three luggage-handling firms at Eleftherios Venizelos. Airport police placed Swissport handlers under surveillance, and caught the five in the act of opening a case. Many of the stolen items were recovered during a search of the suspects’ flats.