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18 JANUARY 2010
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French police are investigating whether a pickpocket stole thousands of euros from passengers as they slept on an Air France flight from Tokyo to Paris.
"There is an investigation under way," a spokesman for the border police at Charles de Gaulle Airport when asked to confirm a report on the website of Le Figaro.
The paper said around E4,000 appeared to have been stolen from five business class passengers as they slept on the overnight flight.
"On this flight, which takes off from Tokyo Narita at 10 pm, passengers often sleep deeply before waking up shortly before arriving in Paris at around 4 am," Le Figaro quoted one of the alleged victims as saying.
A woman alerted the cabin crew when she woke to find a large sum missing.
A spokeswoman for Air France said the pilot had alerted police who were waiting when the flight touched down. It is not known if the French police spoke Japanese.
"I would say that it is really extremely rare to have several passengers at once reporting thefts on board," she said.
She said that while the company was responsible for baggage carried in the hold, passengers had responsibility for possessions they had with them in the cabin.
Maigret, played by the late Rupert Davis, was created by Belgian novelist George Simenon. The Parisian detective came to life on black and white British television screens in the early 1960’s and soon became a firm TV favourite
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