World

Manila airport scammers plant bullets in passengers' bags

Security personnel at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport allegedly planted bullets in passengers' bags to extort money from them.

Under the scam, bullets were allegedly dropped in the luggage of passengers while they went through the security checks at the airport, German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

The security personnel then demanded that they pay a fine or they would be detained and charged with illegal possession of ammunition.

Some of the apprehended travellers were released after the bullets were found to be blanks used as amulets or souvenirs.

But a couple were charged in court after allegedly refusing to pay money to security personnel.

The reports triggered a public uproar, with Filipinos criticising airport authorities for the abuses.

INVESTIGATION

Some on social media are calling for change and giving suggestions on how to avoid being victims, Bangkok Post reported, quoting the agency.

Yesterday, Philippine legislators called for an investigation into the alleged scam.

They did so after an overseas Filipino worker and a Japanese tourist became the latest victims of the alleged scam.

"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 made earlier at the Philippine 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.

Airport management stepped up surveillance at the facility after complaints increased last month.

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

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