Russian Airport Employees Detained for Replacing $3 Million Cash With Rubbish

Three former baggage handlers at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport have been arrested on suspicion of stealing $3.3 million in cash from a flight from Novosibirsk, the Interior Minstry said Friday.

The theft was discovered by the intended recipient of the money, who noticed a discrepancy in the weight of the packages he received, as well as irregularities in the packaging, the Interfax news agency cited an Interior Ministry spokesman as saying.

Upon opening the packages, the recipient found construction waste instead of cash.

After conducting an investigation at Novosibirsk's Tolmachevo airport, police determined that the packages had left Siberia properly sealed, the Interior Ministry said in an online statement. The only place the theft could have occurred was therefore upon arrival at Domodedovo.

Police identified and detained the suspects less than a day after the theft was discovered, according to the Interior Ministry statement.

The suspects had previously worked as porters at Domodedovo and were familiar with the processes by which baggage was moved through the airport.

The suspects confessed and the property was seized, the Interior Ministry said.

The suspects could face up to 10 years in prison for large-scale theft, news site M24.ru reported.

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