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NBI urged to act vs ‘Maleta Gang’

BY: Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto called on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to act on the modus of the “Maleta Gang” composed of some personnel of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) who steal from passengers’ luggage.

Recto made the appeal after four baggage handlers at the NAIA admitted that they stole the jewelry of the wife of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Recto said the NBI, and other agencies outside the NAIA, should meddle in such cases and lead the probe for the arrest of those involved.

“Hindi na pwede na taga-NAIA lang, tulad ng NAIA police. You have to bring in outside investigators,” he said. The lawmaker added that intelligence funds could also be used to arrest erring personnel.

Money, Recto said, should not also be a problem for the government to augment security force and CCTV cameras since various fees are being collected from the passengers.

He said the NAIA earned P9.3 billion in 2014; P3.5 billion of which came from collection of international and domestic terminal fees and R598 million from airport security fees. He said this also include travel taxes that passengers paid in amounts ranging from P300 to P2,700.