Naia screening officer nabbed for allegedly stealing watch of Chinese traveler
MANILA, Philippines — The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) on Wednesday arrested one of its own personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1 after he was caught on camera stealing the watch of a Chinese traveler.
The OTS said security screening officer Valeriano Diaz Ricaplaza Jr., 31, was arrested at 2:30 a.m. after watching the CCTV footage showing his alleged misdemeanor.
In a statement, the OTS narrated that a Chinese traveler first reported his lost watch to Ricaplaza, who denied seeing the missing item.
Subsequently, other OTS staff reviewed the CCTV footage, which showed that Ricaplaza was taking the watch from the blue tray where the traveler’s personal belongings were placed to go through the screening machine while the Chinese national was undergoing another required routine security check at the airport.
Ricaplaza was arrested by personnel of OTS and the Manila International Airport Authority.
“He was brought to the CCTV room to view the incident himself, and was immediately arrested and now in the custody of the PNP-AVSEGROUP (Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group) for further questioning,” said the OTS.
The OTS had directed its regional and terminal chiefs to regularly monitor their security screening operations to apprehend illegal activities and correct lapses in existing procedures. It said that the arrest of its personnel at the Naia is part of efforts to cleanse their ranks amid reports by travelers that items from inside their bags or luggage are getting lost at the airport.