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. When a bundle of foreign currency was found in Mr Sitthichai’s crotch, Mr Nattapon asked the chief security guard to arrest the two men.
Mr Sitthichai had allegedly taken the money from a passenger's backpack, while Mr Piyapong was on the lookout.
The search at Mr Sitthichai’s apartment in Soi Lat Krabang 54 found a watch, two pairs of sunglasses and 56 Turkmenistani Manat, according to the airport's press statement.
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.
The suspects were charged with stealing on airport grounds, which carries a jail term of 1-5 years and a fine of 2,000-10,000 baht.