Apparently, the overhead compartment is no longer a safe place to store your luggage during a flight as one man shares his harrowing experience on having his money stolen by a fellow passenger.
In a post that has gone viral recently, the passenger known as Mathyalagan recalled his experience of nearly losing RM7,000 (US$ 1,779) to a thief on AirAsia flight. In the incident that happened on Feburuary 4, he realised that his wallets were missing from his laptop bag after getting off the plane.
The victim who was on a flight from Colombo to Kuala Lumpur wrote in his post that he left his laptop bag in the overhead compartment three rows away from his seat as the compartment above was already full.
He had RM1,600 (US$406) in one wallet and RM5,100 (US$1,296) in the other.
“Today, upon arrival at KLIA 2 at 5am, I got out from the aircraft and opened my laptop bag to take out two of my wallets – one containing RM1,600 and the other one containing RPS 85,000 (RM5,172). I got the shock of my flying years because the money in both of my wallets was gone,” Mathyalagan wrote in his Facebook post.
He then recalled seeing a suspicious-looking Chinese man on the flight whom he noticed was observing him when he stored his laptop bag in the overhead compartment. Mathyalagan then quickly informed the cabin crew and KLIA2 Airport police about his suspicion.
He was then told that the man was already being watched by the cabin crew for standing several times and opened the overhead compartment during the flight
“While the other passengers were leaving, I quickly informed the cabin crew that someone has stolen my money and (asked) if we can perform checks on the other passengers.”
The crew then immediately informed the captain and went in search for the suspect.
“The Senior Cabin Crew said he too was suspicious of this guy as he stood up several times. The crew immediately informed the Captain about this incident and we quickly walked towards the arrival hall looking for this guy.”
Luckily, they managed to track the man at the arrival hall who was waiting for his transit flight to Jakarta and requested for him to open his bag for an investigation.
After an extensive body check, they found Mathyalagan’s missing cash in a black plastic bag that dropped out from his jacket when he was asked to stand up for the body check.
“When he opened his wallet, we noticed a lot of foreign currency notes but could not see my two bundles of notes. He was wearing a jacket and we suspected that there may be some money in his pocket.”
“So, we asked him to stand up and a black plastic bag dropped from his body. We opened it in front of the crew and airport policemen, and my two bundles of money were in the bag”
The Chinese man was arrested immediately by airport police on the spot.
KLIA district ACP Zulkifli Adamsah told that the Chinese man will be held for four days until February 8 for investigation under Section 379 of Penal Code for theft. Unfortunately, he said that such cases are not uncommon these days and the authorities are having a tough time to find and arrest the culprit.
In fact, Mathyalagan’s case is the first case ever to have a solid evidence that can be filed in the court.
Mathyalagan expressed his gratitude for the swift response of AirAsia’s cabin crew and security, as well as the airport police for their cooperation
He also warned others of thieves like this to avoid similar cases as such in the future.
Since he posted his experience on Facebook, many netizens commented and some shared similar experience.
“We lost our money on a KL-Turkey flight when we put our wallet in my bag in overhead cabin,” one netizen commented. ”
When travelling, you should always keep your money and passport with you at all times,” another Facebook user said.
In light of this incident, we suggest that you do not store any valuable items like laptop, phones, passports and wallets in the overhead compartment and to always keep them by your side. We also would like to congratulate the cabin crew and the airport police for handling the case efficiently!
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