For over a month, flyers traveling through Phuket International Airport in Thailand have reported high-end items stolen from their checked luggage. After an investigation from multiple agencies, police arrested three men, aged from 21 to 30, on charges of possessing the stolen property.
After a month of investigating, Thai police arrested three individuals involved in a stolen property ring originating at Phuket International Airport (HKT). The Phuket News reports the three removed items from passengers’ checked luggage as they passed through the international gateway.
In December 2017, Thai police began receiving an elevated number of theft reports from tourists who traveled through HKT with checked luggage. Items removed from the bags include computers, mobile phones, and high-end items including sunglasses, whiskey and watches.
Their investigation lead them to two baggage handlers: 29-year-old Nirut Saksri and 30-year-old Manot Nakpijit, who both worked at the airport. After searching a house associated with the two, police found over 100 items lifted from flyers’ bags and revealed a third suspect: 23-year-old Chakrit Janprasert.
“The arrests came after victim(s) reported having has items gone missing from their luggage at the airport,” Col. Jirasak Sieamsak of the Sakoo Police told the Phuket News. “In the past police have randomly checked baggage staff and arrested them. Sometimes passengers did not take action against as they stole small items. Sometimes passengers were not sure where they had lost their items.”
According to police, all three men admitted to stealing from passenger luggage processed at the airport. Both Saksri and Nakpijit will face charges of carrying forbidden limited items into Thailand through bypassing customs, while all three will face drug charges.
The investigation was conducted by multiple local police agencies, including the Phuket Tourist Police. Experts recommend flyers keep close track of their personal items while traveling and report all thefts immediately to the local authorities.