Singapore

Baggage handler allegedly swopped hundreds of tags

The ubiquitous baggage tag, which many airline passengers take for granted, helps ensure that luggage end up at the correct destination - unless someone decides to swop the tags around.

Which is what one baggage handler at Changi Airport allegedly did.

Yesterday, Tay Boon Keh, 63, was charged with 286 counts of mischief for swopping around baggage tags attached to the pieces of luggage he encountered.

The employee of industrial equipment supplier Lian Cheng Contracting, a subcontractor of the Changi Airport Group, allegedly committed the offences between last November and this February.

He is believed to have started on Nov 8 last year by exchanging the baggage tag of a piece of luggage bound for Penang on a Singapore Airlines flight with another bag. It was not mentioned in court where the bags finally ended up.

Since then, Tay is believed to have exchanged baggage tags almost every day until this February.

The affected bags had been bound for places such as Hong Kong, Manila, London and Perth. Affected airlines included SilkAir and Lufthansa.

Tay, who was unrepresented, was expressionless as he stood in court before District Judge Adam Nakhoda.

The court heard that Tay, who will be back in court on Oct 17, intends to plead guilty. If convicted of mischief, he can be jailed for up to a year and fined for each charge. - THE STRAITS TIMES

CHANGI AIRPORTcourtWORKERS