Swedish furniture giant IKEA has responded to accusations it illegally accessed secret police files in France as part of its security operation.

"/> Swedish furniture giant IKEA has responded to accusations it illegally accessed secret police files in France as part of its security operation.

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CRIME

Ikea ‘stole secret French police reports’ – claim

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has responded to accusations it illegally accessed secret police files in France as part of its security operation.

Ikea 'stole secret French police reports' - claim

Reports in weekly newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné and investigative website Rue89 say the company used French security companies to gain access to documents held in the STIC system.

STIC (Système de traitement des infractions constatées) is a centralised records system which groups together data from police investigations, including both suspected criminals and their victims.

Accessing the documents without authorisation is an offence. 

“The allegations have come to our knowledge and we look very seriously upon it. We have started an internal investigation to find out if there is any truth to it,” Ikea’s Sweden-based spokesperson Ylva Magnusson told the Local.

“We are a company based on values and honour, and we respect and believe in the importance of both our customers and our staff members.”

IKEA France said on Wednesday it planned to “shed light on the situation” with its own inquiry.

In a statement, the company said it disapproved “clearly and vigorously all illegal practices that could undermine important values such as the respect for privacy.”

Le Canard Enchaîné published a series of emails on Wednesday and alleged that from 2003 the head of security at IKEA’s French operation regularly asked for checks on employees and clients.

Questions were asked about more than 200 people, both employees and customers.

The requests included information on criminal records, vehicle registration checks, mobile phone numbers and even potential terrorist affiliations.

In one email reported by the newspaper, the head of risk management at IKEA asked whether a customer involved in a €4,000 dispute with the store was “known to police” and asked for a check on her address.

Another email reportedly requested information on someone, claiming they made “anti-globalisation remarks” and could even be an “ecoterrorist risk.”

The newspaper reported that each check on the police files cost IKEA €80 ($108).

The STIC database has been heavily criticised in the past for inaccuracies. 

A 2008 report by the data watchdog, CNIL, estimated that only 17 percent of the documents about individuals were accurate.

The company has been attacked before over its security methods. 

A 2010 book, “The Truth About IKEA”, levelled accusations of racism and nepotism against the retailer.

The book also claimed the company used surveillance methods that were worthy “of the Stasi.”

Newspaper Le Parisien reported on Wednesday that around ten IKEA employees are planning to lodge a formal complaint about illegal use of personal data. The charge can be punished with a €300,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

The employees also plan to launch an association for victims of IKEA (“Association de Défense des Victimes d’IKEA”) for employees, union representatives and customers who may have been affected by the alleged activities.


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CRIME

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.

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