Next time you travel by plane, be alert and watch your handcarried items or personal belongings to avoid falling prey to plane thieves.
A Chinese national was flown back to China for stealing a bag on board a Philippine Airlines plane.
Zhang Linhong, 42, was immediately boarded last week on the next available Philippine Airlines (PA) flight to Hong Kong on orders of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 2.
The BI officers opted to expel Zhang instead of arresting him since the victim, American Robin Richard Tinkey, did not file a complaint against the chinese.
The two foreigners were passengers of PAL flight PR 731 from Bangkok, Thailand.
According to PAL’s flight disturbance complaint report, a flight attendant saw Zhang touching Tinkey’s bag.
Sensing trouble, Zhang denied touching Tinkey’s bag but was just looking for a pen in his jacket at the overhead bin.
Upon arriving at the NAIA terminal 2, Zhang was immediately brought to the PAL security holding area where he was interrogated.
When Tinkey checked his bag, he found his things in disarray.
“I noticed my money was removed from the (bag) compartment where I keep it,” Tinkey said.
He added that “it is possible the person documented my credit card numbers or other items in my bag.”
Immigration authorities said despite Tinkey’s failure to file criminal charges against, Zhang, the suspect had violated Section 29 (a) 5 of the Philippine Immigration Act, known as the Public Charge, where the passenger is subject for exclusion and put in the BI blacklist.
The Chinese national passport showed that he traveled Southeast Asia such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Bangkok and has had several entries in the Philippines from year 2012 up to the present.
Zhang on Tuesday boarded a PAL flight PR 300 bound for Hong Kong instead of flying back to Bangkok, his point of origin.
According to BI, there are some cases of in-flight thefts that have been reported in other airlines bound to other countries.
The BI added that thefts were all committed in economy class or in a budget trip.