Rome Alitalia baggage handlers arrested over thefts

An Alitalia plane takes off at Rome's Fiumicino Airport
Image caption Alitalia said passengers who lost their luggage had been reimbursed

Italian police have arrested 19 baggage handlers working for Alitalia at Rome's Fiumicino airport as part of a probe into suitcase theft, reports say.

The suspects were currently being kept under house arrest, police said.

Another 10 of the airline's workers have reportedly been detained and dozens more are being questioned at airports across Italy.

Those in Bologna, Verona and Naples have also been investigated as part of the year-long police operation.

Officers in Lamezia Terme, a town in the southern region of Calabria, told the Ansa news agency that they were investigating more than 100 reports of theft, attempted theft and damage.

"Our security services have collaborated closely with the police," an Alitalia spokesperson told the AFP news agency.

"The passengers who lost their luggage have been reimbursed. We are the victims here."

Those found guilty of stealing luggage could reportedly face up to six months in prison.

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