Bangkok Airport Baggage Handlers Arrested For Stealing 10,000 CNY Cash From Passenger Baggage

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Two employees at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport have been arrested after being caught by a security guard who suspected them of stealing from baggage they handled for Malaysia Airlines – and he was right.

The two individuals were then searched and a large amount of Chinese Yuan in cash was found on them with one criminals confessed that he was inspired to steal by other senior employees of the company.

Everyone should know not to put any valuables such as jewelry and money into your checked baggage and this case in another reminder why you should follow that rule religiously.

Bangkok Post (access here) reported about the arrest of two individuals in Bangkok last Friday.

Two baggage handlers were found stealing money and other accessory items from passengers’ luggage while loading it onto a plane on Friday night, according to a press statement from Suvarnabhumi airport. Sitthichai Saw Tiew, 24, and Piyapong Juisuwan, 28, were employed by Bangkok Flight Services Co as handlers of checked baggage.

They were found with 10,000 yuan (around 50,000 baht), said Kittipong Kittikachorn, vice-president of security at Suvarnabhumi airport, on Monday.

The thefts were detected by Nattapon Thammarat, 20, a new security guard only 20 days at work. Mr Nattapon noticed the two handlers acting suspiciously while loading luggage onto a Malaysia Airlines MH783 bound for Kuala Lumper at around 6pm on Friday. He said a large piece of luggage had been placed to obstruct the view of the security guard, while the two men often glanced in his direction and hurried to the toilet as soon as the job was complete. His suspicions aroused, Mr Nattapon requested that the man submit to a search. …

This is the bounty found on them:

What’s more revealing than this one incident itself is the confession of one of the thieves:

… Mr Sitthichai confessed to committing this kind of theft five times in the five months he had worked for the company, Thai media reported. He had copied the techniques from other senior employees, who had since resigned or been sacked. He would steal from unlocked luggage at a time when no security guards were watching, said the report. Once he had taken an item, he would conceal it in a shoe or in his crotch for ease of smuggling it out of the controlled area. …

If you want to accredit any truth to this confession then systematic theft from baggage is wide spread at Bangkok Airport and I assume not only here but at other Thai Airports as well.

Conclusion

The best lesson to be taken from this is that it’s the best to remove all valuables from suitcases which includes obviously money and jewelry but also important documents and electronics. If possible by any means try to avoid checking baggage in the first place and just use carry on.

Baggage with exterior pockets and unlocked zippers is most prone to theft as the interior of the bag is easily accessible for dishonest airport employees.

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