Police yesterday (Apr 3) arrested a baggage scanning worker for stealing 6,000 baht in cash from an 89-year-old American passenger on Wednesday night at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
The worker employed by a private company handling carry-on baggage security check at the airport was identified as Thanat.
The arrest came after the passenger lodged complaint with the airport's security guards that his Thai currency banknotes amounted to 6,000 baht went missing from his baggage a few minutes after it went through the X-ray scanner at the departure lounge.
Immediately after the complaint, security guards and airport officials went to the scanning checkpoint where Thanat was still performing his work checking carry-on baggage as usual.
He was notified of the complaint and placed under body search which found 6,000 baht cash in his suit.
At first he denied stealing the money but later admitted after security officials showed him the video footage from CCTV camera at the checkpoint catching him stealing the money red-handed.
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He said he wanted the money to return home in Prachuap Khiri Khan.
He said he was just recruited to do the job less than a month and had no money enough for the travel as he was paid on a daily basis of 580 baht.
He said he was not physically fit for the job and therefore he decided to flee back home after the theft to find a new job.
Meanwhile airport deputy director Kittipong Kittikachorn said the airport has summoned the security company's executives for acknowledgment of the incident, with instruction that they must carefully screening employees to do the baggage scanning job.
He instructed that the job needed a person with honesty, and high quality standards.
He said as the American has left the country, the airport was arranging a suitable channel to return the cash to him as soon as possible.
Thanat was charged for theft and was detained at Suvarnabhumi police station.
The theft was the second incident in two month at the carry-on baggage scanning checkpoint. The first case was on March 13 when a baggage scanning employee was caught stealing a Chinese tourist of 4,000 yuan in cash.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)