Thai woman accuses Philippines airport officers of attempted theft

A Thai woman accused customs officers at Manila International Airport in the Philippines of attempted theft. She said the officers tried to steal 40,000 yen (about 10,000 baht) from her bag.

The Thai woman, Saruta Jansila, shared her unnerving experience at the Ninoy Aquino Intl Airport (Manila) in the Philippines on a Facebook group named People Who Like to Roam Around Japan (กลุ่มคนชอบตะลอนเที่ยวญี่ปุ่น) on February 9. She says Thai people should be aware of the light-fingered officers.

Saruta explained that she was in Manila with her husband for a transit flight to Japan. During a baggage check, she felt officers doing something to her arm.

“I spotted the officer doing something with my arm, and for some reason, I was worried that she might have put some illegal stuff into our bags.”

Despite her worries, Saruta and her husband continued with their journey, but it wasn’t until later that they discovered that four 10,000-yen bills were missing from the small purse containing their Japanese yen cash.

Saruta went back and complained. More than ten officers then gathered around to check the couple’s luggage again. Saruta added that one officer tried to have a random conversation with her as if trying to distract her from the baggage check.

Saruta said…

“The officers urged me to check the money again. And surprisingly, my money came back! Four bills were in the front pocket.”

Saruta insists that she checked everywhere very carefully before reporting the missing cash to the officers. She believes the officers were working together to steal her money. She said…

“It was so scary. They committed crimes but looked so chilled. They tried to avoid showing security camera footage to me and talked to each other in Tagalog. I wanted to complain to them, but my husband urged me to let it go because we got the money back.”

Saruta warned other travellers to be cautious when visiting the Philippines. She suggests using a travel credit card instead of carrying too much cash

Many netizens shared their opinions and experiences on her post. They said…

“I heard from many people that they lost money when passing the scanning and check-in counters both in Thailand and other countries. I always put my cash in a plastic box, then put the box in an anti-theft backpack, and lock the backpack with a padlock.”

“The country is similar to Thailand, a lot of thieves wear government official uniforms.”

“I live and work in the Philippines. I am so bored with criminals here. It is everywhere. Not all of them are thieves, but most of them.”

Thai woman accuses Philippines airport officers of attempted theft | News by Thaiger

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.