Carted off to jail?

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

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I am looking forward to hearing the case for the defence from those charged with ground theft at London Heathrow Airport, following a series of police raids last month.

As we reported, the raids followed an investigation by UK inflight sales security consultant STI – Airline Sales & Services Limited* into ground theft from aircraft at London Heathrow Airport.

The company’s new mobile Airside Surveillance Unit allows aircraft on remote stands to be monitored. STI Director Paul Lacy told The Moodie Report that eight individuals who had access to aircraft had been arrested.

Some £15,000 of stock was seized by police in late May, along with airline equipment that included, wait for it, a full duty free cart.

Theft of all kinds is a big problem for the inflight duty free industry. Theft on the ground; theft by some (fortunately not many) cabin crew; and theft by consumers (credit card fraud).

So all efforts to crack down on illegal practices should be applauded and Paul Lacy’s company is doing an outstanding job.

But the incident does beg the question, how did a full duty free cart get into private hands? (Paul Lacy confirmed to me that a full duty free cart was taken from an aircraft onto a high-load vehicle and through an airside-to-landside security post).

Whatever the answer – and it must pose serious doubts about the level of security at London Heathrow Airport – whoever had the cart will need one of the more creative lawyers of our time to argue his or her way out of a lengthy jail sentence.

* For details, contact Paul K. Lacy, Director, STI – Airline Sales & Services Limited, on e-mail at or visit

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  • “M’Lud, my client was merely showing initiative and dedication by deciding to re-fill bar carts at home in his own time.” Sounds like employee of the month to me!