Dutch police employee arrested after attempting to sell MH17 ‘souvenirs’

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A Dutch police employee has been arrested after allegedly trying to sell items online from the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, officials say.

The arrest came just days after a post appeared on the Dutch classifieds website Marktplaats, advertising a wall decoration set that included a small piece of the aircraft’s hull. It also included items such as an “MH17 recovery” vest worn by members of the recovery team, a packet of Malaysia Airlines tissues found at the crash site, and a police band worn on the wrist of recovery workers.

The post, which listed a price of 1,500 euros ($1,584), was promptly deleted from the website after being contacted by local media.

A statement from police in the eastern region of the Netherlands said an employee had been arrested and suspended in connection with the advertisement. The man, whose identity has not been released, was taken into custody on suspicious of embezzlement and is accused of offering official property through the internet.

“Immediately after this information reached the police leadership, an investigation was launched and the man was suspended. He has now been detained for further questioning and investigation,” the police statement said. “The investigation will determine whether these items originated from the crashed plane.”

An internal investigation as well as a criminal investigation has been launched, police said.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed near the city of Torez in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew in the world’s deadliest aviation disaster since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. An investigation by the Dutch Safety Board concluded that the aircraft was shot down by a Buk missile fired from eastern Ukraine.

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