8 Mart 2011 Salı

'Model Employee' Burns Visa Stamps

arson (links to original article)

(Hürriyet Newspaper, 6 March 2011)

Sonay A. (40) was assigned to the sales stall for visa stamps at the
Customs Directorate in the international terminal at Antalya airport
and last year, when she found a tourist's purse full of money she
returned it, winning for herself the title of 'model official' bestowed by
the Finance Ministry.  She came to her work place at 04:25 on monday,
28 February, and entered the terminal using the entry card of a friend
who was on maternity leave that day.

According to claims, shortly after Sonay A., who wore a wig, entered
the building a fire broke out in the arriving passengers lounge. The fire
was quickly  brought under control. The fire department determined that
the cause of the fire was arson and that flammable liquid ignited by  a
lighter had been used. The site of the fire was the stall where visa stamps
sold to incoming passengers were stored. More than 30,000 stamps,
valued at 1.5 million TL, burned.

Sonay A. was identified based on security camera images and taken into
custody. Nine thousand visa stamps were found during a search of her
cabinet and automobile. Sonay A. used her right of silence during interviews
with police and the public prosecutor and then denied the charges in court,
saying 'the person in the video is not me.' She was arrested on an arson

Police believe that Sonay A. started the fire to leave the impression that the
stamps had be burned and then obtain illegal gains by selling the stamps
illicitly. The Finance Ministry has begun an investigation. After Sonay A.
was arrested Airport Customs Director Y.S., along with warehouse officials
Ü.U. and A.A. were relieved of duty.

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