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Kamis, 01 Oktober 2009

Malingsian thief in Changi Airport

HIS job was to handle the baggage that passengers had checked in at Changi Airport.

Some of the items the police found in Rusli's locker included five digital cameras, a pair of sunglasses and a shirt.
But Rusli Abdul Amin, 28, did more than that.

He also helped himself to valuables in the luggage, stealing items such as handphones, watches, digital cameras, perfumes and even books.

Yesterday, District Judge Aedit Abdullah sentenced the Malaysian to two months' jail after he pleaded guilty totwo counts oftheft.

A charge of fraudulent possession of property was taken into consideration duringsentencing.

Police spokesman ASP Lim Tung Li said Rusli and 12 other accomplices were arrested on 18 Aug during a joint raid by airport police and the Singapore Airport Terminal Services.


Said ASP Lim:'In all, 13 Malaysian men, aged 21 to 36, were arrested in connection with the case.

'Three were charged in court on 20 Aug for fraudulent possession and theft, and subsequently convicted.

'Investigations into the case against the others are ongoing.'

The court heard that the airport police had received a tip-off that baggage handlers hired by a company called Manila Construction were stealing valuables from passengers' baggage.

Also, passengers had lodged police reports that they had lost items from their checked-in baggage.

The police were also told that the baggage handlers were squatting without permission at a room in the airport.

The room, which was allocated to Manila Construction by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, was to be used only as a resting room for the baggage handlers.

On 18 Aug, around 3am, police officers raided the room, which is located near to aerobridge F54, in the apron area.

There, they found 19 workers sleeping. The place looked like a workers' quarters, Assistant Public Prosecutor Kalaithasan Karuppaya told the court.

He added that cardboards and a cooker were found in the room.

The workers' belongings were searched and items such as handphones, digital cameras, watches, music players, books, perfume bottles and jewellery were found.

Around 4.45am, Rusli returned to the room and he was searched too.

A handphone was found on him.

The police questioned him and he admitted he had a locker, where more stolen goods were kept.


These included five digital cameras, one battery charger, one pair of sunglasses and a shirt.

He later admitted that he had stolen two of the cameras from passengers' baggage in June.

He was charged with fraudulent possession of the other items, which he could not account for.

The total value of the items was unknown.

Rusli told the police officers that he didn't know who the items belonged to.

Police investigations revealed he had stolen a handphone, worth about $180, and a SIM card from a passenger's checked-in baggage at the baggage-sorting area at Terminal 2.

The passenger discovered the loss later and lodged a police report on 16 Aug.

Rusli used the stolen handphone and the SIM card to make calls to his friends here and in Malaysia.

In his mitigation in court yesterday, Rusli said he was sorry for what he did and wanted to be allowed to remain here and work after his jail term.

Rusli could have been jailed up to three years and fined for each charge.