Reminder To Keep Valuables With You: Case Cash Thief On Emirates Dubai-Bangkok Flight


There have been quite a few stories in the past year about valuables going missing from carry-ons stored in overhead compartments during flights.

Emirates Cash Thief

This has especially plagued flights to/from China where people tend to carry plenty of cash and other valuables with them on-board. There are rarely stories that the thief has been caught, however. Yesterday, Bangkok Post ran a story where the thief had been apprehended during the flight.

You can access the Bangkok Post piece here of which below is an excerpt:

According to Emirates employees, Sunan Witham, a Thai passenger, told a flight attendant her 110,000 Swedish krona in cash — worth about 470,000 baht — went missing from her bag placed in an overhead compartment.

She suspected Sheng Wan of stealing her cash as she spotted him opening the compartment before the money vanished, Pol Maj Gen Surachet explained.

The crew conducting a search found all of Ms Sunan’s 220 banknotes hidden under Mr Sheng’s seat and reported the incident to tourist police at the Bangkok airport.Pol Maj Gen Surachet said the Chinese national tried to offer 50,000 baht as a bribe to the officers arresting him in exchange for his immediate release. Instead of facing only a theft charge, police slapped him with an extra charge of bribery.


You may wonder why someone would carry such a large amount of cash with them rather than doing a wire? That is a good question. The person would have needed to declare the cash when leaving Sweden (likely) and again when entering Thailand.

I am glad that at least once, the airline employees were able to find the thief and now he is being prosecuted in Thailand. Bad luck also with trying to bribe the police officers.

Seems that the best practice is to keep your valuables all the time with you even when in business class. There are always some ladies that are surprised that they must put their expensive looking purses into overhead compartments for take off and landing.