Sydney Airport: former employee stole $450k worth of electronics

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A former Sydney Airport employee made nearly half a million dollars by selling electronics stolen from cargo while working as a cargo handler.

The 38-year-old man was sentenced to three years and four months in prison after pleading guilty to a number of offences, including dealing with the proceeds of crime.

In a statement on the conviction, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the man became a potential suspect following reports of a theft at the airport in February 2022.

AFP officers executed a search warrant at the man’s home in Green Valley, northwest of Liverpool, in May 2022.

Officials seized smartphones, smartwatches and tablet devices valued at up to $50,000.

As the police discovered, the man had either sold, given away or kept for personal use numerous electronic devices that he had stolen from an air cargo container to which he had access in his capacity as a cargo handler.

AFP later discovered $189,000 in cash in the trunk of the airport employee’s car and found that $261,000 had been transferred to his personal bank accounts.

The man had made a total of $450,000 from the sale of stolen electronic devices.

He was arrested soon after and charged with receiving stolen goods and with intentional handling of proceeds of crime.

The man’s 45-year-old partner was also arrested and charged with two counts of dealing in cash or other property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime valued at less than $100,000.

Both pleaded guilty to the charges in December last year and the woman was sentenced to 70 hours of community service.

At the end of May, the man was sentenced to three years and four months in prison and a two-year suspended sentence.

AFP Sydney Airport Police Commissioner Morgen Blunden said the AFP would not hesitate to catch criminals at the airport.

“Individuals with trusted access to an airport site are critical to the successful operation of Australia’s tourism and commercial sectors, but the AFP will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those who abuse that trust,” Det. Supt Blunden said.

“Criminals are motivated by profiteering and greed and the AFP has zero tolerance for those who abuse their access to air traffic for their illegal purposes.”

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