Maximum penalty urged vs NAIA officer who swallowed stolen $300
September 21, 2023 | 1:47pm
MANILA, Philippines — Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista called for a strong action against a security officer who was caught on closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage swallowing $300 in $100 bills allegedly stolen from a departing Chinese passenger at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
In a press statement released on Thursday, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that Bautista had authorized undersecretary for legal affairs, lawyer Reinier Yebra, to lead the filing of formal complaints against those involved in the alleged theft.
“The secretary has authorized imposing the maximum penalty to those found guilty to demonstrate the department’s determined push to rid NAIA as well as other attached agencies of scalawags,” he said.
The incident occurred on September 8 at NAIA Terminal 1 when a checkpoint supervisor reported the loss of $300 by a departing passenger named Mr. Cai.
Subsequent CCTV footage revealed a security screener taking money from Mr. Cai’s bag during the security check.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) reported that the screener, while holding something in her left hand and concealing it near her waist, turned away. Mr. Cai then discovered his wallet open and the money gone.
Despite the screener’s efforts and drinking water given by a colleague, she struggled to swallow the bills.
The screener’s supervisor intervened, “seemingly communicating with her” as she was “almost choking in her effort to swallow the dollar bills” to “apparently ensure that the bills were properly disposed of (no evidence),” acccording to MIAA.
Both the screener and her supervisor have been suspended, and their access passes have been revoked as authorities investigate the incident. — with a report from Rudy Santos