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Italian police arrest fake airline pilot

Italian police have arrested a fake airline pilot, using the name Andrea Sirlo, who conned his way into the cockpit of at least one plane.

Italian fake pilot lufthansaEnlarge
The profile picture, distorted by GlobalPost for legal reasons, from Andrea Sirlo's Twitter account. (Screengrab)

Italian police have arrested a fake airline pilot, using the name Andrea Sirlo, who conned his way into the cockpit of at least one plane, Reuters reported.

The unemployed 32-year-old's name has not been released, but it is understood he was arrested in Turin Airport, wearing a pilot's uniform.

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Police said he was carrying fake ID cards, and had created an identity for himself as a Lufthansa pilot. "Sirlo" also had Twitter and Facebook accounts, complete with fake friends who were flight attendants – and a picture of himself in a pilot's uniform.

According to the BBC, the suspect sat as the "third pilot" on board an Air Dolomiti jet (owned by Lufthansa) which flew from Munich to Turin on April 6.

Lufthansa told the Associated Press the man, who was charged with endangering air transport security and impersonation, could not have boarded the plane without a ticket.

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Italian police said the suspect did not operate the jet's controls, and authorities were working to establish if he had gained access to the cockpit of other planes.

Police have reportedly known about "Sirlo" for some months, after being alerted by a Civil Aviation lieutenant who was suspicious of the 32-year-old's claim that he was a captain.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/120923/italian-police-arrest-fake-airline-pilot