HARAP PAGAR, PAGAR MAKAN PADI!
(Farmers erect fences to protect the paid fields, but the fences destroyed the padis.)
At least three security guards were found to have been pilfering items from luggage bags at the KL International Airport.
To add to the irony, one of the culprits was a member of a special task force formed to bust foreign syndicates stealing baggage at the airport.
As security guards, their job involved manning scanners and examining the thousands of bags scanned daily before they were loaded aboard planes. Their duty was to look out for banned substances like drugs, and dangerous cargo such as explosives.
Besides looking after the interest of the public, they were also looking after their own interest, for they were monitoring the bags that had valuables – mainly watches, cameras, jewellery, laptops, mobile phones, binoculars and video cameras. Once they spotted something of value, they would force it open, steal the item, then return the bag to the baggage handling system running under the airport terminal.
Those involved were believed to have been at it for at least 10 years, from the days when the international airport was at Subang.
A recent slip by one of the guards gave police the lead. Police investigations were still in progress. Police have remand orders from a magistrate’s court to detain the three suspects, aged 31, 38 and 48, who had served with Malaysia Airports Bhd between 13 and 25 years.
A passenger from Hong Kong reported on June 3 that his bag containing his laptop was missing when he returned to the island. KLIA officials located his bag at the airport and sent it to the owner on the next flight. When his bag arrived, the businessman was shocked to find a set of keys inside instead of his laptop. The culprit had accidentally dropped his keys into the bag. Police traced the keys to the 48-year-old security officer and arrested him at his house in Nilai Perdana on Tuesday.
On the same day, the two other guards were arrested in their houses in Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi where police also seized an array of stolen items. He said an average of two bags with items missing were reported to the airport daily.