Philippines: 'Plant a Bullet' luggage scam operating in Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Two members of the House of Representatives are seeking a probe of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) officials for failing to curb the alleged “tanim bala” (planting-a-bullet) scam, which victimizes airline passengers. In the supposed scam, airport passengers are detained after a bullet is found in their luggage, and then asked to fork over money in exchange for the dropping of charges against them. Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City cited the recent victims—OFW Gloria Ortinez and Japanese Kazunobu Sakamoto—who were arrested, detained and charged with carrying bullets in their luggage.   Ortinez was barred from flying to Hong Kong after Office of Transportation Security (OTS) personnel arrested her on Sunday. A bullet was found in her hand luggage during the routine examination by the X-ray machine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 2 departure area. Sakamoto was arrested by the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group after the OTS found two bullets in his baggage. “This is becoming an international embarrassment. OTS personnel do not only shamelessly victimize our country’s modern-day heroes, but are also not afraid to prey on foreigners,” said Gatchalian, a senior vice chair of the House committee on tourism. “A Senate investigation is needed because agencies operating in Naia have failed to curb the abuses on their own. There is no working system that is ‘guarding the guards,’” he said.

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