Police arrested two employees of air carrier GoAir on Monday for stealing phones from a cargo shipment while posing as passengers at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, earlier this month.

The two executives, responsible for unloading consignments in cargo, had allegedly put a bag containing about 53 mobile phones on a conveyor belt and walked out with it while posing as passengers from the airport’s arrival terminal.

A case was registered on the complaint of a manager of a cargo company reporting theft of their mobile consignment containing 53 phones that had arrived in Delhi onboard a GoAir flight from the Indian city of Patna on Sept. 19.

“The manager said that his shipment had arrived by a Go Air flight G8-229 from Patna at Terminal 2 of the Delhi airport. The complainant mentioned that due to space shortage, a part of the consignment was shifted to the warehouse. It said that at the time of unloading the consignment in the warehouse, it was found that the shipment had only 30 bags and one bag which contained 53 phones was found missing,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Sanjay Bhatia said, local daily the Hindustan Times reported.

Police searched all areas in the airport and other stations but couldn’t find the shipment. CCTV footage was also scanned, however, no clue was found.

"On the basis of technical analysis of the stolen mobile phones, raids were conducted at the addresses of the users of the phones and the two accused, Sachin Manav (30) and Satish Pal (40), were nabbed from Aerocity, IGI Airport," he said, according to local television channel NDTV.

“They were found allegedly using the stolen mobile phones. When questioned, they allegedly confessed they are working as ramp officers with Go Air. They allegedly said after unloading the shipment, they placed the stolen shipment over a conveyer belt and received the same from the conveyer belt posing like regular passengers at the arrival hall of Terminal 2,” the DCP said.

Bhatia added eight stolen mobile phones have been recovered from their residence and they confessed to having sold five phones. It was not clear as to what happened to the rest.

“The recovered mobile phones have been seized and both the accused persons have been arrested in this case. Further investigation is going on,” he said.

Manav has been serving at the Delhi airport since 2011, and Pal has been working since 2015.

In a similar incident in 2017, two Jet Airways ground handlers were arrested for stealing a passenger's bag at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in the Indian city of Mumbai. The duo allegedly posed as passengers and made off with the luggage from the baggage belt.

The employees were arrested after a passenger filed a complaint stating he could not locate his bag after landing at the airport.

"The airline will take appropriate action as per policy, in accordance with law, against the concerned employee(s), including terminating their services, based on the outcome of the investigation,” the airlines had said, Mumbai Mirror reported.