Four Lion Air Baggage Handlers Busted for Luggage Theft

Soekarto-Hatta International Airport police arrested four employees of the country’s biggest budget carrier Lion Air on suspicion of stealing passengers’ possession from luggage.

A porter working for Lion Air, Indonesia’s biggest budget airline, opens passenger luggage before proceeding to take belongings, as seen in closed circuit television (CCTV) footage supplied by state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II. – Photo: Antara Photo/Lucky R.

Adj. Sr. Comr. Roycke Harry Langie, the airport police chief, said on Sunday that his office, working together with airport operator Angkasa Pura II, set up CCTV cameras in the airport’s baggage-handling area. The cameras later recorded a group of baggage handlers opening luggage, rifling through the contents and stealing items.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr.Comr. Mohamamd Iqbal identified the perpetrators only as S, 22, and M, who worked as Lion Air baggage handlers and airline security officers A, 28, and H, 29.

“They opened the passengers’ luggage and took the belongings in the airplane’s hull,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency on Monday.

Iqbal explained that the police initially arrested A, H, and M on Dec. 18 after discovering their misconduct from closed circuit television (CCTV) footage recorded on Nov. 16.

Andy Saladin, a PR officer at Lion Air, said the airline was working with the police and airport authorites on the investigation, and had also launched its own internal probe.

“If indeed any security officers from the airline are involved and there is evidence to prove it, we will hand them over to the police,” he said.

Soekarno-Hatta general manager Zulfahmi said the airport operator would step up its monitoring of the baggage-handling process with a 24-hour CCTV setup. He also said the operator would work more closely with the airport police and all airlines to boost security throughout the airport.

Lion Air has been in the spotlight in recent years following cases related to the airliner. Known for delayed flights, the airline was recently in the spotlight over the arrest of three of its crew members on drug charges in December.


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