A new scam in the Philippines will make you extra cautious the next time your bag goes through security at the airport. (Photo: Thinkstock)
By Brittany Jones-Cooper for Yahoo! Travel
Airports always warn passengers not to trust strangers with their luggage, but as news of a new travel scam surfaces, it turns out that airports are the ones that can’t be trusted.
Legislators in the Philippines are now investigating a “bullet scam” allegedly carried out against passengers at the Manila airport. According to BBC, the scam involves airport workers dropping a bullet into the luggage of a bag going through security at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It is against the law to carry ammunition, so when the passengers are confronted with the bullet, they are forced to pay a fine or are threatened with legal action.
In some cases, passengers have been forced to pay between 500 pesos ($10) and 30,000 pesos ($640).
One of the latest victims was an overseas Filipino worker named Gloria Ortinez, who missed her flight to Hong Kong after a bullet was found in her hand luggage. She denied that the ammunition belonged to her, but ended up getting detained by the Office of Transportation Security for several days.
Similarly, Japanese tourist Kazunobu Sakaoto was arrested after two bullets were found in his luggage and he failed to show permits allowing him to carry ammunition.
In September, two Americans were also victims of the bullet scam while passing through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“This is becoming an international embarrassment”, said Sherwin Gatchalian, vice-chairman of the tourism committee in the House of Representatives.
After the accusations from passengers, the airport has increased surveillance and launched an investigation into workers suspected of involvement.