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Earlier this year, I went to Abidjan on Air France, with several tablets in my hold luggage (didn’t want to go through security this them). For this day journey, I chose to fly on a B787 rather that taking the lorry (aka A380), although this meant a stop in Bamako. When I opened my locked suitcase at the hotel in Abidjan, I saw an empty case…
Back at home, I lodged a complaint with Air France that, after some paperwork, reimbursed 100%, to my entire satisfaction.
I didn’t know however where the theft had taken place… Was it at CDG? At ABJ? During the stop at BKO? But I knew is wasn’t an amateur job since my luggage was in pristine condition (which implied the probable use of a TSA key). And some sort of scanner had to be used to spot the electronics in my suitcase. I had however registered the tablets.
It took some months but eventually I probably found out. One of the tablets was localised in Bamako! This suggests the theft took place in the hold during the stopover!
This is in my view the worse scenario as it means individuals could bring inside the aircraft some sort of electronic device to spot the tablets. Does this mean they could have brought something more dangerous such as an explosive device? I am wondering. And this is actually quite frightening! Did I miss something?
Your story opens up a whole host of possibilities and vulnerabilities. It needs to be sent up the line, to the top in fact with Air France and beyond albeit I am not sure if this is a matter for the French CAA or equivalent. I am sure other more knowledgeable forum members can comment
Intuitive guess on my part is that it was an inside job. West Africa is a hotbed of misery, thieving, corruption, and disease, so that these things happen is not surprising.
I once worked for an airline and I know that during the transit at the station I ran, the handlers had access to the holds as baggage was loaded and offloaded, and things went missing from cases. In those days there was no electronic surveillance but we did eventually catch one of the guilty parties and he sang like a canary, enabling us to nail the rest of them.