The Sun (Malaysia)

Ammo-in-bag scam sparks uproar


MANILA: Philippine legislator­s yesterday called for an investigat­ion into an alleged scam at the country’s main airport where security personnel allegedly plant bullets in passengers’ bags to extort money from them.

The call came after an overseas Filipino worker and a Japanese tourist became the latest victims of the alleged scam at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino Internatio­nal Airport.

“This is becoming an internatio­nal embarrassm­ent,” Congressma­n Sherwin Gatchalian, vice-chairman of the committee on tourism in the House of Representa­tives, said in a statement.

A similar proposal for an investigat­ion was earlier made at the Senate by Senator Ralph Recto, who stressed the need for authoritie­s to step in because “agencies operating (at the airport) have failed to curb the abuses on their own.

“There is no working system that is guarding the guards,” he said in a statement.

Under the scam, bullets are allegedly dropped in the luggage of passengers while they go through the security checks at the airport.

The security personnel then demand that they pay a fine or they are detained and charged with illegal possession of ammunition.

Airport management has stepped up the surveillan­ce system at the facility since complaints increased since September.

They have also begun an investigat­ion into the personnel allegedly involved in the scam. – dpa

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