2 airport security men nabbed for stealing cash from Japanese tourist
Two airport security personnel were nabbed during the Holy Week break after stealing cash from a Japanese tourist while he was undergoing a routine baggage inspection at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
The tourist said he was missing a total of 1,700 Australian dollars (P68,.000). But authorities recovered only 300 Australian dollars (P12,000) from the suspects.
Stephen Bartolo and Demie James Timtim were charged with qualified theft after they admitted to stealing money from tourist Yuya Sakata on Holy Wednesday.
The two suspects are intelligent agent aides of the Office for Transportation Security assigned at the arrival entrance gate of Naia Terminal 3.
Based on a report filed by case investigator APO2 Jerrold Demegillo, Sakata was already at the predeparture area for his connecting flight to Cebu when he realized that his wallet was missing cash amounting to 1,700 Australian dollars (P68,000).
The 22-year-old Sakata believed that his money was taken at the arrival entrance gate where his bag was inspected shortly after 7:00 p.m.
During the investigation of the incident, Sakata identified Bartolo as the one who inspected his bag. CCTV footage also showed Bartolo discreetly inserting the cash to his pants pocket.
Bartolo later admitted to airport police that he indeed took the cash from the victim’s wallet. He surrendered to authorities two 50 Australian-dollar bills.
The suspect also told authorities that his colleague Timtim, who was the incoming duty officer that night, got a portion of the loot.
In a follow-up operation, police found four 50 Australian-dollar bills in Timtim’s jacket.
It was unclear, however, what happened to the rest of the money Sakata claimed to be missing.
Following the incident, the Manila International Airport Authority revoked the access passes of Bartolo and Timtim and included them in the stop list of personnel.
The theft comes on the heels of other abuses being committed to tourists arriving at the country’s premier airport.
In March, two taxi companies were banned from entering the airport complex after their drivers illegally contracted and overcharged their passengers, who turned out to be video bloggers.
Such incidents put a stain on the latest recognition earned by Naia as one of the Top 10 most improved airports in the world. /atm
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