A Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD) employee was arrested and charged with stealing more than $32,000 worth of luxury items from a Cartier shop at the airport.
According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the 39-year old woman was an employee of the Cartier airport store.
The woman was identified by Australian media as Chantelle Elizabeth Carrington (real name Sonia Ayobi), dubbed as a “diamond expert” by the press due to her extensive experience in luxury retail. She had previously worked as an advisor at Ascot Diamonds before gaining employment with Cartier.
In a statement, the AFP said that in early January 2024, it received a complaint from a luxury airport store involving alleged theft by an employee.
The Cartier boutique at SYD airport has been operating for only two months, opening in November 2023.
On January 11, 2024, the AFP executed a search warrant on Carrington’s residence, where 15 Cartier luxury items were seized.
The AFP said it was able to seize four bracelets, three pens, two lighters, two bracelet keys, a pair of earrings, a wallet, a candle, a lighter and a men’s pendant.
Investigators also seized a Sydney Airport visitor pass, an Australian passport, and two electronic devices which will be subject to forensic examination and further investigation.
“Abused her position for personal gain”
“This woman allegedly abused her position within the airport terminal for personal gain,” AFP Detective Superintendent Morgan Blunden said in a statement.
“Due to the cooperation of the store, as well as our longstanding partnership with Sydney Airport Corporation, we were able to resolve this matter swiftly which is a testament to our working relationships,” Blunden continued.
Blunden also said that the AFP was committed to the safety and security of all major Australian airports, irrespective of the type of crime.
Carrington was arrested and charged with larceny by clerks or servants, contrary to section 156 of the NSW Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), as applied by section 4(1) of the Commonwealth Places (Application of Laws) Act 1970 (Cth).
The offense carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.