Two arrested for attempted theft on SIA planes

SINGAPORE - Police Saturday arrested two Chinese men for suspected theft on board two separate Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights.

In a statement to the media, a police spokesperson said that they have been closely monitoring reports of in-flight thefts on regional flights. Items stolen include passengers' valuables, especially cash kept in hand-carry bags stowed in the overhead compartments.

In the first case, which took place on a SIA flight from Hong Kong to Singapore, a crew member noticed a passenger removing a laptop bag from an overhead compartment located several seats in front of his allotted seat.

The suspect then went back to his seat and searched through the bag.

Moments later, the culprit was seen returning the bag to the location where it was originally stowed. The alert crew member informed the owner of the bag and proceeded to detain the 38-year-old male suspect. A check later revealed that apart from some documents, there were no valuables kept inside the bag.

The second suspect detained on a flight from Singapore to Vietnam. A crew member saw him removing a laptop bag from an overhead compartment near his allotted seat.

He then took the bag and moved to the rear of the aircraft during the boarding process. He rummaged through the bag before removing cash from it. The laptop bag was then returned back to the original overhead compartment.

The crew member then detained the 49-year-old male suspect and money amounting to $630 belonging to owner of the bag was recovered.

Both men suspects will be charged in Court on April 23, 2012. If convicted they face three years in jail of a fine of both.

The Police added that it will be applying for a court order to remand the pair for a week to facilitate further investigations as they are believed to be involved in other cases of a similar nature.

dassa@sph.com.sg

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