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Thievery on the rise at the Philippines’ number one airport

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport © rappler.com
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 © rappler.com

THIEVERY is on the rise at the Terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport with the offices of foreign airlines being the favorite targets of thieves.

The recent rash of petty crimes at the NAIA Terminal 1 prompted security personnel to conduct a thorough investigation which is expected to yield positive results anytime now.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Assistant General Manager for Security and Emergency Services Jesus Descanzo said the most recent incident happened on May 21 at the American Airline (AA) office.

He said AA personnel initially reported experiencing power tripping and subsequently smelled burning wires which caused their electronic systems, including the air conditioning unit, to shut down. The airline staff then reported the incident to NAIA Terminal 1 Manager Dante Basanta who immediately sent some electricians to check the AA office.

To their surprise, the electricians found out that the main line wire was missing indicating that that someone who have knowledge in cable installation is responsible for its disappearance, Descanzo said adding that the AA operation resumed after two hours only after “we replaced the missing wire.”

A week prior to the AA office incident, the office staff of a Middle East carrier, which is also operating at the terminal 1, complained that someone broke into into their office. According to the complainants they found footprints on their printers, wall and stool.

Descanzo said that thieves might have scaled the office’s ceiling as Styrofoam were seen scattered on the airline’s computer tables.

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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