Two Suvarnabhumi Baggage Handlers Caught Stealing

25th Jul 2017

Two baggage handlers, Piyapong Juisuwan, age 28 and Sitthichai Saw Tiew, age 24, were caught stealing money and other valuables from passengers’ luggage at the Suvarnabhumi Airport. The pair of thieves were caught last Friday night by a security guard at the airport, Nattapon Thammarat, age 20, while they were loading the bags onto a plane.

According to Suvarnabhumi Airport Vice President of Security Kittipong Kittikachorn found with 10,000 yuan (about 50,000 Thai baht).

Mr. Nattapon, who has only been working as a security guard at the airport for the last 20 days said that Piyapong and Sitthichai were both acting suspiciously while they were loading bags to Malaysia Airlines Berhad flight MH783 last Friday at around 6:00 pm. The plane was bound from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur.

According to Nattapon, the handlers placed a large piece of luggage to obstruct the view and often glanced in his direction. Once they loaded the last bag, they rushed to the toilet. He then followed them and after requesting to search them found a bundle of money in Mr. Sitthichai’s crotch, which he apparently took from one passenger’s backpack while Mr. Piyapong was keeping watch for security.

After finding the stolen money, Mr. Nattapon asked the chief security guard to arrest the men.

A search of Mr. Sitthichai’s apartment found a two pairs of sunglasses, one watch and 56 Turkmenistani Manat, all stolen from previous passengers. He confessed to doing this type of theft five times in the last five months. As he said, he copied the technique of senior employees, who no longer work at the airport (resigned or were sacked). What he did, Sitthichai explained, was that he stole from luggage when no security guards were paying attention (Mr. Piyapong was there as a lookout for them), then stash the stolen item in his crotch or shoes so that he could smuggle them past the controlled area.

Both Mr. Sitthichai and Mr. Piyapong are charged with stealing on airport grounds and are facing 1 to 5 years of jail time as well as a fine between 2,000 and 10,000 baht.

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