Exit from the RER stop Charles de Gaulle Airport. By directing you to registration before taking your plane, maybe you did one approached to provide you with packing your luggage at a lower price. Wrap the bags in several layers of plastic film is, in fact, become a habit of travelers, especially on flights to Africa, in order to avoid that the baggage are visited and stolen on the tarmac on arrival. A company, Safe Bag, has secured exclusive rights to this service at the airports of paris.

But it undergoes on a daily basis due to the fierce competition of”packers” illegal. These boast a service that is supposedly equivalent and less expensive. In reality, the packaging products that they use are of poor quality and may cause the failure of automatic systems of sorting of luggage. The result: airlines are flight delays. Not to mention the many complaints from passengers in the face of the insistence of those agents act outside the law.

Disorder to the serenity of the travellers

last year, Air France had resorted to a private security company to try to stop this activity. But the cost of the operation was forced to give it up. Since then, the police took the lead. In conjunction with daily monitoring, it conducts raids to curb the phenomenon. Although it is a small crime “not very dangerous”, according to an official of the prefecture of police, it represents, according to him, “a disturbance of the peace, the serenity of the travellers and the safety of persons”.

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The airports are territories, which are very sensitive where the traffic quickly gain momentum. In fact, the police regularly carries out major operations against the flights on the sly cleverly organized by some of the networks who came from the countries of the East. If the packaging illegals were at the outset the fact of a few isolated individuals, the business has quickly developed into a company of groups that are often very community-based. Thus, last October, a larger operation resulted in the dismantling of a network in benin, including seven organizers and a score of smaller hands.

Here’s how to operate the packers. Most of the airlines permit on flights in economy class to Africa, two pieces of luggage of 23 kg. Therefore, if one of the luggage weighs 28kg and the other 15 kg, the packers offer… A “distribution”. Because they have the sense of service: equipped with small scales to hand, they weigh the luggage for that they do not exceed the weight prescribed. And if one of the two suitcases is too small, we offer you you to sell more as they pack them with the cellophane transparent purchased in large surface professional type “Metro”.

“The camera is your friend, the airport is rife”

But the business goes further: the packers are to identify passengers with only one carry-on and will offer them to take a second against a remuneration. These suitcases “bonus” pre-packaged expectations, on shopping carts hidden under the escalators, to be conveyed to the appropriate destination. In terms of safety, this obviously poses a problem because the passenger embarks on the plane, a baggage that he doesn’t know the content. Usually, customs will find that these baggage are especially filled with food products, clothes or electronics second hand.

to prepare For operation iron fist in which The Figaro has exceptionally been allowed to attend, the criminal activities are scrutinized on the video screens from the offices of the border police. First, it is to establish the roles of each member in observing their comings and goings. And then, all these information are recorded in a report together with a copy of the video to the transcript of the hearing. Finally, once the intervention is ordered, the police gather all of the fifth floor of the building to review the details of the operation.

officials remind you of some rules: “Do not intervene in the precipitation, freeze the situation, do not respond to intimidation. The camera is your friend, the airport is full and all passengers have smartphones, so be very professional.” Finally, they do not lack to make clear that “walking around with a roll of cellophane under the arm is not in itself a criminal offence”.

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Quietly, the twenty police officers stand in position outside the terminal under the direction of captain Gérard R.. They waiting on the green light from the captain Régis B., head of the court unit, stayed behind the surveillance screens in order to have a better overview to coordinate the maneuver. Then, the starting signal is given: the different teams need to act quickly, and intervene simultaneously in several locations in the terminal 1.

That night, the operation will target the corridor from the shuttle arrival automatic CDGVAL, and the check-in area to the upper floor. Teams of police call out to a dozen people, including several repeat offenders, who already had a prohibition from being present on the platform with what it calls “a prohibition of appearing”. They will be immediately placed in police custody before being presented before the tribunal de grande instance of Bobigny.

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