Authorities probe alleged theft by NAIA security officer

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A video obtained by CNN Philippines shows the security officer seemingly swallowing the dollar bills she allegedly stole from a passenger.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — Authorities are investigating a member of the Office for Transportation Security (OTS) for allegedly stealing $300 from a passenger at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.

In a statement on Sept. 18, the OTS said the identity of the security officer involved has been established and the gathering of evidence is already ongoing.

"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 agency said.

The OTS is working with the Manila International Airport Authority and the Philippine National Police Aviation Security on the case. Administrative actions will be undertaken if the allegations are proven true, it added.

The OTS emphasized that the incident does not reflect "the code of conduct for civil servants, much more of the core values" that its members uphold.

OTS administrator Ma.O Aplasca encouraged informants to report illegal activities committed by his personnel.

After the first reported theft at the security screening checkpoint under his leadership, Aplasca said several preventive measures were put in place – including the removal of jackets and pockets of security officers' uniforms.

The involved OTS personnel were also immediately sacked and prosecuted, he added.