PASAY CITY – Law breakers never benefit from their actions. This was proven yesterday when a thieving screening officer at the airport was apprehended by MIAA police authorities following a complaint from a Hong Kong tourist who claimed that cash was forcibly taken from his hand bag before boarding a flight back to the former Crown Colony.
The Manila International Airport Authority Airport (MIAA) immediately reacted to a Facebook post of Jackie Freeman Yuen, a Hong Kong national who traveled to the Philippines for a vacation together with a group of friends.
According to Yuen, he and his friends had just checked in for a Philippine Airlines flight back to Hong Kong on the afternoon of June 10, 2019 when they passed through the final security screening at NAIA Terminal 2. Several of them had already passed through screening.
However, one of his friends was pulled aside as the screener wanted to check his backpack manually. The security screener opened the backpack and reportedly removed the items inside one by one. The screener then pulled out the passenger’s wallet from the backpack, opened it, and reportedly pulled out two (2) HK$1,000 bills from the wallet.
According to Yuen, the screener, who was identified as a certain Nissan Abellon Villarino from the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) demanded the passenger to give him the money for no reason at all. Yuen’s friend, who spoke very little English, refused to give Villarino the bills, but the suspect insisted and took the money anyway.
The poor passenger then looked for his other companions who spoke better English and asked for help. The victim’s friends, who turned out to be lawyers, accosted the security screener and demanded that he returns the money. The security screener was taken aback when he found out that the victim’s companions knew how to speak English then returned the stolen money.
After getting back the money, the visitors from Hong Kong no longer had time to make a formal complaint with airport authorities and proceeded to the boarding gate to catch their flight.
It was when they arrived back in Hong Kong that Mr. Yuen was able to inform airport officials about the incident after communicating with them through Facebook messenger.
Members of the MIAA Surveillance and Screening Department (SSD) swiftly took action with Inspector Jesus Ducusin spearheading the case.
Inspector Ducusin got in touch with Mr. Yuen in Hong Kong, and after getting some facts to the case, was able to identify and later apprehended the security screener.
During inquiry, Villarino voluntarily submitted his written statement, admitting that he took the cash from the tourist.
The Airport Authority has removed Villarino from his posting and revoked his access inside the airport terminal as administrative charges are being filed against him.
Meanwhile, the airport police are awaiting for a formal complaint to be filed by the Hong Kong Nationals at the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong so they can file a criminal case against Villarino.
The MIAA regards the act as highly contemptuous and an insult to the rest of airport workers who are mindfully doing their jobs to earn their keep. (MIAA Media Affairs Division)