In-flight thieves steal £178,000 from watch dealer’s cabin bag

MUNICH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: The Emirates Airbus A380 registration A6-EDP lands at Munich Airport Franz Joseph Strauss on November 25, 2011 in Munich, Germany. Emirates Airlines has launched a new daily A380 service from Dubai to Munich with its first flight today. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

A Turkish watch dealer has alleged that US $200,000 (£138,000) in cash and Rolex and Patek Philippe watches worth a further £40,000 were stolen mid-air, during a flight from Dubai to Hong Kong.

According the South China Morning Post the cash and items were taken from a bag placed in an overhead compartment. Saci, who was travelling on business, was seated in economy.

Mustasa Saci, 39, reported the theft to airline staff after disembarking from the Emirates flight on Sunday morning and realising that the items were missing. The theft, which has also been reported to the Hong Kong Police, would represent the largest in-flight theft ever reported.


It is understood that police in Hong Kong have been working with a number of airlines to combat a growing number of in-flight thefts during the past 12 months.

According to the Post, in the first 10 months of 2015, there were 67 reports of thefts on flights into Hong Kong, with HK$4.83 million (£430,000) stolen, compared with 48 cases totalling £232,000 in losses for the whole of 2014.

It is understood that while thefts from short haul flights are far more common, the practice is now beginning to effect long haul travellers as well with business-class passengers also being targeted.


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