Algeria: Officers detained over near-fatal stowaway incident

Algeria Stowaway

An Algerian court is holding 10 police officers in custody after a man was found hidden aboard an Air Algerie plane, according to Alarabiya News and Reuters

The court stated that a mechanic employed by Air Algerie is also under investigation.

On December 28th, the unidentified man was found suffering from severe hypothermia at Orly Airport in Paris. The man is believed to be in his 20s and to have stowed away in the landing gear of the flight from Oran in western Algeria.

In July 2022, two deceased men were found aboard a plane at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers. A similar incident, involving a 16-year-old boy landing safely in France, hidden aboard a plane from eastern Algeria, occurred in March of the same year.

READ: Morocco foiled 366,000 attempts at irregular migration to EU

US Federal Aviation Administration data counts 132 recorded cases of individuals, known in the industry as “wheel-well stowaways”, between 1947 and 2021.

The officers face charges of “involuntary offences endangering the lives of people on board the aircraft and of others.”

Algeria’s national police chief, Farid Bencheikh, was fired this week but no indication was given as to whether his dismissal is related to the December 28th airline incident.




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