Busted! Baggage handlers at Suvarnabhumi Airport caught stealing from passengers

One of the alleged thieves points at stolen money seized from him. Photo: Sanook
One of the alleged thieves points at stolen money seized from him. Photo: Sanook

Suvarnabhumi Airport caught two baggage handlers stealing money and accessories from passengers’ suitcases on Friday night as they were loading a plane.

Nattapon Thammarat, 20, is a newly-hired security guard who discovered the two alleged thieves. At around 6pm on Friday he became suspicious of two handlers loading luggage onto MH783, a Malaysia Airlines flight leaving Bangkok for Kuala Lumpur.

The baggage handlers in question were identified as Sitthichai Sawtiew, 24, and Piyapong Juisuwan, 28. Both were employed by Bangkok Flight Services Co. to handle checked baggage.

The pair were found carrying about CNY10,000 (or THB50,000). Bangkok Post reported that Piyapong allegedly stayed on the lookout, while Sitthichai allegedly took money from a passenger’s backpack.

A large piece of luggage, placed in a certain position, was used to block the security guard’s view.

Following the incident, Sitthichai’s apartment in Lat Krabang 54 was searched. Suspicious findings there included a watch, two pairs of sunglasses, and THB500 worth of cash in Turkmenistani currency.

Sitthichai reportedly confessed that, in five months of working at the airport, he had committed the crime five times, using “techniques” he learned from senior ex-employees.

When the guards were not looking, Sitthichai said he would steal from unlocked luggage. He would then hide the stolen items in a shoe, or in his pants, and smuggle them out of the controlled area.

The suspects were charged for theft on airport grounds, which is punishable by one to five year jail terms and fines between THB2,000 to THB10,000.

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