Airport security official suspended after being caught swallowing $300 that was stolen from passenger
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Featured Image Credit: Manila International Airport Authority
An airport security officer has been suspended after being caught swallowing $300 allegedly stolen from a plane passenger.
At around 8:20pm on 8 September, 2023, a passenger named Mr Cai went through airport security at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines.
His shoulder bag was inspected by an employee of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS), but when it was returned, the passenger discovered his wallet was open and money - allegedly amounting to $300 (£240) - was missing.
An airport security official has since been accused of stealing it after CCTV footage revealed her stuffing what authorities believe to be dollar bills into her mouth.
It certainly gives a whole new meaning to putting your money where your mouth is.
When the security official inspected Mr Chai's bag, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) says she 'suspiciously turned away while apparently holding something in her left hand with her first tightly closed,' as reported by The Philippine Star.
She is then accused of 'swiftly placing' something in her waistband before returning the bag to its owner, who later confronted her.
In the CCTV recording, the official could 'clearly' be seen 'deliberately swallowing the dollar bills, folded into one small piece,' the MIAA said, Philstar Global reports.
That's certainly one way to hide evidence.
However, the official is also reported as having struggled to swallow the money - 'almost choking in her effort to swallow the dollar bills' and having needed a bottle of water to try and ease the process.
An investigation has been launched and the OTS is working alongside the MIAA and the Philippine National Police Aviation Security.
The OTS said in a statement to CNN on 18 September: "Upon receipt of the information about the recent allegations of theft involving a Security Screening Officer (SSO) at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1, where a cash amounting to three hundred (300) US dollars went missing, the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) took actions to validate the information and launch its fact-finding investigation."
The security official, along with her supervisor, have been suspended by the MIAA.
The OTS employee hasn't been arrested, according to OTS Administrator Ma. O Aplasca, because she wasn't caught while stealing the money.
And Philstar reports that Mr Cai has refused to file charges against her.
The security official has denied the accusations against her.
UNILAD has contacted the MIAA and OTS for additional comment.