The Manila International Airport Authority on Tuesday urged the people to be aware of the presence of unscrupulous individuals at airport terminals, specially this coming summer vacation when the number of passengers would increase.
The MIAA management came up with the warning following the arrest of Rey John Manglay, 27, a notorious member of Salisi Gang, operating at Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals.
Manglay, who uses an alias Arjhay Valdez, was arrested after Harija Panayaman Hamsa, an overseas Filipino worker from Kuwait, filed a complaint against him.
“He [suspect] approached and befriended me when I arrived at the NAIA Terminal 1 last Feb. 27, 2019, and he convinced me to go with him at the NAIA Terminal 3 for my connecting flight to General Santos City,” Hamsa said.
Hamsa said Manglay was able to convince her when he told her he was also an OFW from Saudi Arabia.
She added the suspect took away her baggage, containing her money worth P150,000, jewelry and mobile gadgets, when she entered the comfort room.
Investigation showed that Manglay had victimized a total of 20 OFWs and a German tourist on various occasions at the airport.
MIAA general manager Eddie Monreal presented Manglay in a press conference where the suspect admitted he spent all the money in bar hopping in Makati and other night clubs in Metro Manila.
Charges of swindling and qualified theft will be filed before the Pasay City prosecutor’s office against the suspect who is now detained at the Airport Police Department.
Authorities said Salisi Gang members lurk anywhere where there are people— malls, restaurants, airports, fastfood joints and computer shops—and are just waiting for victims to get distracted.
They either divert their victims’ attention or wait until their targets are distracted before they move in for the kill.
They added the gang is also using attractive women in luring unsuspecting air travelers.
Last year, 58-year-old Japanese national Tetsuya Makita, missed a flight to Narita when his luggage gone missing following a “delightful” conversation with three women at the NAIA Terminal 1.
The victim spent his days and nights staying at the airport police quarter because the missing luggage also contains his travel passport, mobile phone and his money around 50,000 Yen, and other important documents.
Investigation showed that the victim was standing waiting at the departure curb-side area for his Japan Airlines flight around 2:25 p.m. when three women, whom he described as “beautiful ladies,” approached and talked to him.
While one of the women, who speaks Japanese, having the conversation with the victim, her cohorts took the opportunity taking the luggage.
Minutes after saying goodbye to the three ladies he met, the victim noticed that his luggage was missing.
Airport authorities believed that aside from the three women, there were other accomplices in the modus.