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Former Sydney Airport employee jailed for $450k in thefts

written by Jerome Doraisamy | June 6, 2024

A file photo of Sydney Airport in November 2015. (Image: Rob Finlayson)

A former employee of Sydney Airport who generated $450,000 from selling personal electronics stolen from cargo at Sydney Airport has been sentenced to more than three years’ imprisonment.

Last Wednesday (29 May), a 38-year-old man was sentenced by the Downing Centre District Court in Sydney to three years and four months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of two years, after being identified over two years ago as a potential suspect of theft at Sydney Airport’s cargo facility.

The man, whom the Australian Federal Police (AFP) did not name in its statement, was employed as a freight handler and thus had access to electronic devices located in an air cargo container.

In May 2022, the AFP executed a search warrant at the man’s Green Valley home and seized smartphones, smart watches, and tablet devices worth about $50,000, with further inquiries revealing the man had received several electronic devices stolen from the airport facility, which he then sold, gifted, or kept for personal use.

The man was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property contrary to section 188 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and for knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime contrary to section 193B (2) of the Crimes Act.


The man’s partner, aged 45 and also not named, was also arrested and was charged with two counts of dealing with money or other property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime under $100,000 contrary to section 400.9 (1A) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

In mid-December of last year, both the man and his partner pleaded guilty, with the latter being sentenced to an intensive corrections order of 70 hours of community service.

Speaking following the sentencing, Sydney Airport Police Commander Morgen Blunden said the AFP is committed to targeting crime occurring at the airport.

“People with trusted access in an airport precinct are critical to the successful operation of Australia’s tourism and trade sectors, but the AFP will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those who abuse this trust,” Superintendent Blunden said.

“Criminals are motivated by profit and greed, and the AFP has zero tolerance to those [who] abuse their access to airside operations for their illegal pursuits.”

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