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OTS personnel arrested for allegedly stealing Chinese passenger's smartwatch in NAIA


Authorities arrested a personnel of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) after allegedly stealing a smartwatch from a Chinese passenger at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.

The 31-year-old suspect Valeriano Ricaplaza was assigned as an OTS security screening officer at NAIA Terminal 1, according to Luisito Santos’ dzBB report on Wednesday.

OTS administrator Mao Aplasca said the incident occurred at 2 a.m. in the security screening area.

Based on the initial investigation by the OTS, the Chinese passenger left his smartwatch in the tray which was used in the x-ray machine at the security screening area.

The passenger, however, was not able to recover it and reported the incident to authorities.

Airport officials then checked the CCTV footage near the security screening area, which revealed that the smartwatch was left in the tray and that the suspect allegedly covered it with another tray and took the smartwatch. 

The suspect was then arrested by personnel of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group and is set to face theft charges.

The suspect, however, denied the allegations, saying that the smartwatch was not found after his colleagues checked him.

Meanwhile, Aplasca castigated the suspect inside the jail, saying that he put the country to “shame.”

 

“Grabe na yung kahihiyang na inabot natin hindi lang ng OTS pati buong bansa na tayo. Nakakahiya na tayo sa buong mundo ganoon pala ang effort natin na nawawala ang gamit pagkatayo ang dumaan,” Aplasca told the suspect.

(You put not only the OTS, but the whole country to shame. We are embarrassing to the whole world because you showed that once the passengers passed to us, their belongings will be missing.)

“Hirap na hirap na nga ang ating Presidente para magpromote ng ating bansa para magpunta dito yung mga turistang investors tapos sinisira lang natin. Hindi ba kayo nakonsensya? Bakit wala ba kayong sweldo?” he said.

(Our President is working hard to promote our country so that the tourist investors will come here and then we just destroy it. Don't you feel guilty? Are you not receiving your salary?)

In response, the suspect repeatedly denied the allegations, “Pero wala naman po talaga sa akin. Kinakapkapan naman po ako ng mga kasama ko (But I did not steal the watch, when they checked me there was nothing).”

Aplasca refuted the suspect’s remark, saying that there is evidence found.

“Hindi yan defense na wala sayo yung gamit pero meron tayong ebidensya na ikaw ang kumuha. Ngayon tatanggi ka pa. Sana magtanda kayo, harapin mo itong kaso na ito,” he added.

(That's not a defense that the watch was not found after they checked you. We have evidence that proved that you took it. I hope you learned from this and face this case.)

“Naiwan nung Chinese sa tray yung kanyang relo, para hindi mahalata ang ginawa ng SSO (screening security officer) natin, tinakpan agad ng isang tray sa itaas at binuhat niya yung tray siguro tinabi at doon na niya binulsa yung ano pero kitang kita po sa CCTV na siya po nagbulsa ng relo,” Aplasca said in Ian Cruz’s “24 Oras” report on Wednesday.

(The Chinese passenger left his watch on the tray. Our SSO then immediately covered it with a tray and put it in his pocket. We can see on the CCTV that he picked it up and put it in his pocket.)

“Hindi naman po ako yung kumuha. May iba po akong kinuha yung gloves ko po sir,” Ricaplaza said.

(I did not get it. I just took my gloves.)

However, the smartwatch of the Chinese passenger was not recovered until he left for Hong Kong.

“Sana hindi ito ang kultura, iilan ilan lang ito sa ating hanay. Kaya yung amin pong pangako sa tapong bayan na gagawin ang lahat, we will address this issue more aggressively this time,” Aplasca said.

(I hope this is not the culture, it was only a few in our ranks. We promised to the people that we will do everything and address this issue more aggressively this time.)

Meanwhile, more closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been added to the NAIA security screening area after an alleged extortion attempt was reported by a Thai tourist.

The victim uploaded a video of a security screening officer who allegedly took cash from him. He said he was extorted and robbed during the final security check, according to Ian Cruz’s "24 Oras" report on Tuesday.

Airport authorities also plan to add more security cameras and supervisors to screening checkpoints, especially since this is now the sixth case that the OTS is investigating. —Richa Noriega/ VAL, GMA Integrated News

Tags: NAIA, OTS, Ph Airports
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