Anything to declare?

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

We often hear news of theft from duty free stores around the world and applaud the usual ‘no tolerance’ rule applied by retailers.

That was certainly the case at Cork Airport recently where one hapless thief attempted to introduce a new term to travel retail language – walk-through shoplifting – and get away with 100 bottles of perfumes and cosmetics worth €4,434 from The Loop Duty Free shop. That is enough to keep a large-scale daigou trader in Seoul happy.

According to the Irish Examiner, the villain’s plans were spoiled by another passenger who spotted the large-scale shoplifting and alerted the authorities. Given the volumes involved – well in excess of any allowance other than that perhaps of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport arrivals duty free – the fellow passenger would not have had to be particularly sharp-eyed but full credit to him or her for doing their duty, as it were.

The Loop at Cork Airport: Walk-through shopping yes, walk-through shoplifting no

The action then moved to a Cork court room where the shoplifter’s solicitor, Diarmuid Kelleher, applied for bail, a request vigorously opposed by Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan. Mr Kelleher in turn challenged the objection and commented: “He is charged with what is colloquially known as shoplifting, it is not arms dealing or murder.”

Shoplifting on an epic scale it should be pointed out, something picked up on by the arresting officer, Sergeant Kevin Joyce. The Sergeant also explained that the passenger, a Lithuanian national, refused to disclose the address where he claimed to have been staying in Cork and moreover was travelling on a one-way ticket out of the city. “It is the epitome of flight risk,” the Sergeant declared.

The only flight the accused took was back to jail. The judge remanded him in custody until 15 January for breaching the peace (and his allowance). For now at least, he remains free of duty but not free.


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