Delhi Police busted a suspected theft racket operating at the international airport here and arrested eight loaders working with ground handling agencies, officials said on Saturday.
The accused have been identified as Deepak Pal (25), Gautam Kumar (34), Moshin Khan (23), Rahul Yadav (24), Yashwinder (28), Pappi Kumar (26), Neeraj Kumar (26) and Kamal Kumar (27).
Gold and silver jewellery worth close to Rs 10 lakh, six branded watches, an Apple iPhone and Rs 1,15,000 in cash, among other articles, were recovered from the accused, the police said.
Pal was apprehended on Wednesday by a joint team of the police and the Vigilance department while he was allegedly attempting to pilfer from a registered check-in baggage, a senior police official said.
Pal disclosed that he worked as a loader for a ground handling assistance company since 2018. As his Rs 18,000 salary was not enough, he started committing petty thefts from passengers' baggage whenever he got an opportunity.
Later, he came in contact with seven other loaders and ground handling staff of other airlines and agencies. They soon formed a gang and started committing baggage theft on a large scale, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Airport) Ravi Kumar Singh said.
During investigations, the police located the other loaders and arrested them, he said.
They allegedly stole valuables from passenger baggage and hid the stolen articles inside lockers and other places in the airport, the police said.
The accused worked in a professional manner, collecting the stolen articles in one place before disposing of them, police said.
Four cases of theft have been solved, they added.