Robbed! Sticky Fingertips at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport terminal
It didn't take place at a grungy guest home, in a crowded regional marketplace, or down a darkish alleyway at night. It just happened in Bangkok's shiny fresh Suvarnabhumi Airport terminal at a gate protection checkpoint. Even worse, the thief has been a safety worker.
We’ve already been on the road for nearly 14 months. Apart from several dollars worth of nearby currency shorted from the stack of bills directed at us by a lender in Uzbekistan, we’ve remained vigilant and thankfully unthieved…until right now.
The Picture of the Criminal offense: Bangkok Airport terminal
We attained the Bangkok airport terminal for our trip to Krabi, Thailand nearly two hours earlier. After examining in, we approached our gate with more than an hour to extra. The waiting region was practically empty and just a few bored protection employees milled round the steel detectors.
Due to an exceptionally stringent 15-kilogram examined luggage limit enforced by Atmosphere Asia, we lumbered towards the safety checkpoint at our gate loaded with some additional carry-on cargo. I pulled off a little backpack and a little side bag and positioned them on the conveyor belt. As Audrey had been scanned at the metallic detector just before me, I taken out my cash belt from around my waistline and emptied my pockets right into a tray headed for the x-ray device.
I walked through the steel detector and had been scanned with a wand. When I switched around, my luggage had come out, however the tray was nevertheless evidently on the belt inside. This gave me pause. I turned back again to see that which was happening. As I do, the tray emerged through. I assembled my things. I tugged the amount of money belt around my waistline, buckled it, and required a chair.
We sat at the front end of the gate with a sparse team waiting to table. Arriving so earlier for a air travel is really a rarity for us, therefore i took the chance to dig through my pockets and empty them of the garbage I acquired collected. I did exactly the same with my cash belt.
Thai money within a Buddhist temple providing.
Three times prior, we produced a big ATM withdrawal to cover up some new equipment buys. I recall counting and splitting the amount of money with Audrey the night time before the airline flight, to the tune of eight or nine-thousand Baht ($260-$300) each in 1000 expenses. We were remarkably and unusually loaded with cash. I actually remembered considering “my, there’s lots of [crap] in right here” when i struggled two times to tuck the amount of money belt into my jeans, once after check-in and once again after a ticket check out before gate protection.
Seated at the gate, I unzipped the low wallet of the belt with the intent of sorting through my regional foreign currency, confirming my boarding move was nevertheless there, and tossing apart some worthless receipts which often gather there like navel lint.
I plunged my hands into my cash belt and likely to grasp a collection of money and papers, but I arrived up relatively empty-handed. My center sank.
All that remained of a collection of 1000s, 100s, and little change: several 20 Baht expenses and a 50. All of my large expenses was gone, as though surgically removed. I has been stunned. “Maybe the amount of money evaporated?” I recommended to myself. No kidding. For an instant I considered our German magician buddy plus some of the disappearing works he's in a position to negotiate. “Probably I unintentionally dumped the complete stash down the urinal in the men’s restroom?”
The amount of self-doubt We subjected myself to inside those brief occasions of empty-walleted shock had been profound.
I viewed Audrey: “I can’t think it. I’ve already been robbed.” I stood there pitifully, as though some intermediary might hear my plea and abruptly make the amount of money re-appear. He in no way do.
Fending off another episode of uncertainty, I pressured myself back to the final lucid second between me and leading compartment of my cash belt.
“It will need to have happened at safety!” There have been only 40 mins until boarding time and energy to kind this out.
“Would you like me ahead with you to protection?” Audrey asked. “Needless to say,” I said, convinced that it would become advisable in the event I fainted. I has been flushed and sinking in a ocean of urgency and tortured ideas and emotions. I sensed utterly foolish and hung in disbelief.
The sensation of violation that employs being robbed started to clean over me. I shook with anger, but collected composure when i walked the several meters back towards safety. “But imagine if I’m incorrect?” I wondered once again.
I examined everything in my own head once again in a moment and re-affirmed my belief that the amount of money must have already been lifted at the protection checkpoint.
I told among the security staff that cash was lacking from my cash belt, purposely attempting to avoid producing any accusations. Although I recall being alone in range prior to the x-ray machine, maybe a rogue traveler experienced made an appearance behind me.
Even though safety staff’s English was great, the girl I approached could hardly know very well what I was stating. I deliberately hushed my voice several notches to pay for the adrenaline that got poured into my bloodstream. After the female understood my situations, she insisted that people check our hand bags and pockets as she introduced my claim to all of those other crew.
The security personnel were self-confident that I acquired misplaced my cash. At the very least that's how they made an appearance. Most of them shook their heads in a manner that implied “another idiot tourist.” I insisted that my cash never left my cash belt when I traveled, but I rifled through our luggage and pockets merely to please be sure to them.
“MAY I see the movies?” I questioned, pointing to the camcorders monitoring the region. The girl confirmed that I possibly could.
“Just how much?” she asked. “8000 Baht ($260),” I mentioned. She shrieked, relatively angrily and in disbelief that I possibly could have been holding this type of wad of cash, that it could have already been stolen at protection and – god forbid – that certain of the security workers might have been a witness to losing, aside from the thief.
We still had period until our trip was planned to depart. I had been fairly sure that if there have been no guilty celebrations and I had basically lost my cash, the tapes would demonstrate the safety crew innocent. Once the security group realized I was seriously interested in viewing the tapes, they got my passport and air travel information and started making calls.
I begun to sweat. I suspect the thief do, as well.
I has been inquired to stand behind the metallic detector and stare into two wide-angle camcorders tucked in to the corners behind the conveyor belts and steel detectors. Officials seated in a few closed-circuit TV area confirmed my identity to be able to locate me in sequence of travellers on the tape. The theft had been minutes fresh, so that it must have already been an easy task to queue up.
For another 45 minutes, a ocean of uniformed security individuals entered the gate, huddled in the part, made calls and hardly acknowledged us. At one stage it appeared as if these were scanning the gate for just one of the travellers. Our boarding period approached.
“Why don’t they take action?!” I anxiously wondered aloud.
Lastly, as passengers started boarding the plane, among the females approached us and described that she has been the duty officer in charge of the security group. She requested me to describe what happened again. WHEN I done the claim type, she admitted they had found an associate of the security employees carrying out something suspicious on the tape. “We need to speak to her,” she stated, indicating it had been fairly very clear who sticky-fingered Sally had been.
“It has in no way happened before,” she provided apologetically.
She cautioned me they had procedures to check out. “We must create an investigation and obtain the insurance provider involved,” she said, somewhat shaken. By enough time we finished the claim type, the gate has been empty. The complete team of security employees (likely like the thief) gathered before us and viewed us once we thanked the duty supervisor and switched around to panel our airline flight. An odd departure by any gauge.
We were the final ones to plank the plane. I had been exhausted and my ideas were ingested with the incident. I wondered easily would actually see my money. A whole lot worse, I knew properly that this lingering experiencing of mistrust would stay with me for quite a while ahead.
Bold, Stupid, or simply a Scam?
Due to the fact there are security camera systems absolutely everywhere nowadays, stealing at a protection checkpoint is not only bold, it's stupid.
But not. The work officer claimed that she's never had to cope with this before. “What do she mean by this?” I wondered. She has been referring to in no way having had to handle a passenger who uncovered a theft at the gate. I wondered what other tourists have had several expenses stolen from their wallets or cash belts, and then later uncover the theft and dismiss it as mistaken or insignificant – should they happen to capture everything. I find it extremely difficult to trust that I had been the 1st passenger to leave from the Bangkok airport safety checkpoint several bills lighter.
It's probable that audacity has been supported by another thing: coordination. In the end, how could one worker manage a theft such as this with out a fellow security worker not being conscious of it? An accomplice eases the procedure of dividing, conquering and diverting unsuspecting passengers' interest while negotiating a blind place in the security camera systems.
To believe that had been an uncoordinated, one-period incident involving one protection employee isn't only hard to trust, it's naive. I'd bet all my traveling money that this is really a scam.
After all, who expects to end up being robbed at safety? I do now. You almost certainly should, as well.
Although I tuck my cash belt and phone strong inside my backpack before getting into a protection checkpoint, almost every other people location their wallets and valuables correct in the safety trays, in the same way I had completed this time. There's an intrinsic trust – nevertheless misplaced – that one’s valuables are secure in the fingers of security personnel. Even more critically, hopefully and confidence that their eye are searching for sharp metal items and bomb-making components. If security employees are usually scamming my belongings, how do they be watching the protection of the airplane we're going to board?
Answer that on your own. This incident doesn’t create me feel much better about airplane safety, something about that i had serious doubts currently.
So, the next time you go through protection at an airport, be sure you watch your sharp items and liquids…and maintain your valuables concealed from security workers. Though the majority are thankfully simply doing their careers to keep us secure, some are certainly on the consider.
The Waiting Video game
Yesterday we had been contacted with confirmation that the investigation concluded, indicating that a minumum of one of the safety employees was included; the insurance company will be engaged. Nowadays, I'm told that even though insurance company was today involved, investigations continuing. I have no concept what this signifies, but I plan to recover my cash.
About Daniel Noll
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That is most interesting – I am more vigilant in potential future – many thanks
Wow! Just what a tale. I cannot think how bold the thief has been. Good to hear there is some recourse. What a horrible feeling to have before boarding your trip. Ugh!
Steven: I nevertheless can’t think it myself. It had been awful.
I’d enjoy to start to see the tape. The work officer recommended that I possibly could probably view it, but only once the investigation had been over. I questioned her if she could mail me a duplicate of the tape. I understood that would move nowhere, but figured I’d ask. She mentioned “no” and that we’d need to go back to Bangkok to view it.
Right now, though, we have been in southern Thailand and don’t plan to go back to Bangkok…since it’s nearly on our solution to Malaysia.
We’ll write another write-up or two, based on how everything sorts out.
Mary: Good notion. Maintain your belongings tucked and tight.
Hey Dan, that has been quite bold to return there and complain concerning the theft! Healthy for complicated them like this. Quite bold of the thief as well. While similarly I was needs to experience sympathy for you personally, I emerged to the next conclusion; It is best to become robbed in bangkok whilst travelling, than to be seated at the job in Bratislava. 🙂 I am certain Audrey has recently said this for you, but if this is actually the worst thing that occurs to you on your own travels, you're very lucky indeed! Benefit from the rest of one's travels, and all the best getting the cash back! We are looking towards viewing you at some time!
Just what a story! I’ll become more vigilant too, particularly when carrying a great deal of sums in plastic material bags for the archaeological tasks this Spring… Incidentally, fortunately, this didn't happen in Main Asia. I bet it could have been a lot more challenging to explain the problem and eventually look for a recourse. I’d end up being also surprised to hear that there surely is something that can be done to really get your cash back at the Termez or Nukus airports.
Nargiza will be in France with me for nevertheless fourteen days. Everything is great for us.
Great luck for the travels and best wants for the forthcoming brand-new chinese year.
I’m really happy that you returned and confronted them. It had taken plenty of guts and perhaps, just naybe, they could think twice next time.
I recall when my dad has been robbed on the Metro in Prague and Chip and I produced a split-second choice to follow the thugs who experienced done it. Fortunately, I found my senses in the same way we were going to get all Combat Club in it. I’m thinking that wouldn't normally have ended with speak of insurance firms.
Brian: Several people say it had been courageous to return and confront them. Probably. The one thing stopping me had been doubt. Once I acquired over that, complete steam forward. We’re both alert to our fortune (so far). Perhaps I had a confident balance in my misfortune travel bank-account – held at gunpoint, robbed and experienced through dengue in India.
Marc & Nargiza: Excellent to listen to from you. Maintain those sums of profit a blast-proof package. Interesting you mention Main Asia…we had been on our guard the complete time there. Simply proves that as soon as you ought to be concerned is once you feel comfortable sufficient to let your safeguard down. Enjoy your time and effort jointly in France.
Nicole: I’m wishing that makes them (however lots of people “them” might consist of) think. On another bulletin panel, somebody quipped that the Bangkok protection thing is really a racket…so bad you could bribe a gun up to speed. Now that’s dark. Maybe that’s an extreme explanation, but certainly someone’s paying a little more focus on our dough than our basic safety.
The Prague racket your dad fell victim to is a lot, much worse – at the very least predicated on what I’ve noticed. I still believe the law enforcement could begin to handle it, but they’re as well busy stopping random vehicles on the road for insurance and sign up violations (you understand, the true threats to everyone’s security and well-getting).
I simply study on Mathaba that certain of their editors has been robbed of just one 1,500 euros at the Budapest airport terminal. The x-ray tech stole the amount of money and was captured on CCTV! The authorities didn't pursue.
Wow. That is unbelievable! As a resident of Thailand I sensed I trusted them a significant amount of. Every single period I past those safety check points. I usually either attempting to put my notebook back to its bag without considering my wallet that’s arriving thru. Thank sfor allowing us know in any case.
However, I noticed that the same thing is happening often at Chicago O’Hare Airport terminal. And the TSA states they are not in charge of any loss.
Next time I’m there I’ll keep both my eye on my things. And I’ll make an effort to place everything in one container.
Steven: Perhaps a tendency. My guess will be that it’s been heading on for some time, however.
Nick: You're welcome. Thanks for the note.
Although this specific encounter at the Bangkok airport terminal had been a disappointment and an eye-opener, we’ve liked our appointments to Thailand and we'll continue to suggest it to prospective tourists.
We’ve learned once again that staying vigilant is definitely a good idea, irrespective of which airport you will be journeying through.
When our scenario is resolved, I’ll reveal it in a follow-up post. I'll also recommend several seemingly obvious methods that I will undertake future appointments to any airport terminal.
Yesterday 27 Feb 2008, during global exchange (from Phom Penh) at Bangkok Suvanabhumi Airport, likely to door C3 for connecting Paris Thai Airways departure 00.05, moving 11 PM at check stage , I was requested by “security” staff to delete my belt, and place it in plastic container for X-Ray : I came across while on board a quality value jewel “bracelet” in gold and sapphires provides been stolen, it had been essential to open the belt (zipped) and the bag containing jewels (also zipped) in the belt . Unbelievable ! Period left to execute such theft : ABOUT A MINUTE ONLY !
I’m sorry to listen to about your knowledge. The good component is that you possess recovered the amount of money and that needs to be a joyful ending for you personally and a face-saving closing for their corrupt protection squad.
I wouldn’t keep my breath looking forward to a copy of this police report. It basically doesn’t exist – identical to that fictitious insurance professional!
I wouldn’t be surprised in case a huge chunk of the everyday take has been passed upwards to end up being distributed on the list of highest echelons for the reason that metal and concrete eysore.
With different tourist scams aswell an formally sanctioned dual-pricing policy, tourists used to jokingly inquire why Thai authorities didn’t simply relieve them of most their money on arrival at the airport terminal. Well that’s definitely happening now; and can you think it, it’s happening along the way out aswell!
Michel: I’ve responded on another blog post where you provided additional information (Part 2) aswell.
Weâ€™re sorry to listen to about this. Itâ€™s unexpected how short amount of time it takes to possess something stolen. I believe youâ€™ll have to start by communicating with Airports of Thailand (AOT), Suvarnabhumi Airport terminal. Whatever transpired (whether safety employees or other travellers were involved), it must be captured on closed-circuit video clip.
[comment edited to eliminate duplicate content]
ENQUIRY / CHECK OF CAMCORDERS REQUESTED
Waiting around PROMPT RESPONSE FROM Safety CHIEF AIRPORT AND Total REFUND FROM AOT, Accountable OF STAFF INVOLVED WITH ROBBERY.
INVOICES OF JEWELRY ROBBED COULD BE SCANNED AND EMAILED TO AOT.
Michel XIMA, FROM France
01 MARCH 2008
Jack: I’m scared you are probably right on all counts.
The face-saving character of the resolution can be an position I hadn’t regarded, though.
“… concrete and steel eyesore,” indeed – also it nevertheless appears unfinished in several stretches.
Having experienced Thailand many times this does not shock me at all. The airport terminal will be notorius for the countless scams functioning both in the structure and its procedure.
John: Thanks for the comment. In line with the responses we've received right here (and on other community forums), your assessment appears to be shared by numerous others.
Thinking of what savvy tourists you and Audrey are usually, I’m sure is really a pretty much rehearsed scheme. I admire your resolve to confront protection and sort out the system to really get your money back again. I would prefer defeating the thief in a inches of dying and offering their organs on eBay.
Keep in mind, you and Audrey will have a warm mattress waiting around at the Noe Castle.
John: Most everyone has arrived at the final outcome that itâ€™s a fraud. Exciting that you characterize how I recovered my cash as a system. This is a program, or device of sorts, which will take profit at a clip and from time to time spits cash back out to those, like me, who eventually notice and relentlessly go after them. Something indeed.
Concerning the defeating and organ vending on Ebay: remind me to consider you around on our following go-circular at the Bangkok airport terminal.
Looking towards taking you through to your offer of lodging at the Noe Castle one of these brilliant days.
“almost every other people location their wallets and valuables correct in the safety trays, in the same way I had completed this time around.”
wallets & valuables! I just put those metal items, loose coins, etc on the tray. Not at all the amount of money belt if its fabric and buckle will be plastic material.
If the metal detector buzz, action aside and empty even more pockets. Otherwise, move ahead.
Regarding how many other people invest security trays, I’m simply reporting what I see.
I has been robbed by security employees searching my bag at toronto airport terminal in january this season she took $285 bucks out of my purse that i uncovered when i visited duty free of charge. when i returned to tackle the one who searched me her reply had been in order to take it more you'll skip your plane!! i stated i had to capture my air travel but i needed it reporting the authorities came and mentioned i has been mistaken there was digital cameras and she couldnt took it but she emptied my holdall and place the things on the side after that began rummaging in my own handbag not removing stuff like she do with my holdall, then she thought to me you may be putting the things back my holdall which stupid me do instaed of viewing what she had been doing this it wouldnt show through to camera she may have slipped the information up her sleeve or simply heldthem in her hands coz i really do remember right here bending down as though to place something on a shelf. obviously i lost my cash and have heard nothing at all since. i'm so mad at myself because we'd been warned about any of it in the dominican republic nevertheless i didn’t anticipate it to occur in canada.i'll hold my wits about myself in potential future thats for certain
@brenda: Sorry to listen to about your experience. Many thanks for posting it. The even more we share our tales, the even more we build recognition about being cautious while going right through airport security…especially in those areas where we would otherwise experience safest. Safe and sound travels.
Same happened certainly to me. As if to include insult to damage, it happened to function as only cash I acquired since my wallet have been stolen your day before, and this it had been all the cash I had usage of until I arrived home 2 days afterwards, when I would be wired cash (all cards etc. proceeded to go with the wallet). Couldn’t think it but I understand better today.
@Liz: Sorry to listen to about your expertise. The more our tales and encounters at Bangkok airport protection are shared, the even more aware and better ready travelers will be when coming up with their method through there.
At the very least, hopefully you involve some better fortune before you.
Thanks a lot for sharing this tale, Dan. I am in Bangkok airport soon, so this tale is essential for me. I am hoping you got the amount of money back again.
@Agne: Be cautious going right through BKK and all the best. From what I’ve heard, this kind of thing may be heading on.
I’m unfortunately this scam is usually alive and kicking but having an added contact of sophistication and collusion.
This incident happened certainly to me this weekend break. Will posting and explain even more after collecting my ideas.
@Woojin: I’m extremely sorry to listen to that something comparable happened for you. I’m actually curious to listen to that it’s a lot more sophisticated nowadays. Please share the facts here therefore others can reap the benefits of your experience.
– Native Australian but born in Korea. Circa 40 yrs . old.
– Proved helpful and lived in European countries and Asia since 2002 and post 9-11 with heightened safety, travelled extensively for the reason that time.
– Employed in Thailand 2.5 years including numerous monthly visa runs out of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport when unemployed permit.
– Upon discovery, believe it had been what of a rogue AOT worker / contractor and carried out in isolation. Afterwards discover this is a misguided assumption.
– Carry handbag is bad design, smooth individual zip sling pack. An easy task to open. Best for travel but harmful to security.
– Regional wallet is kind that clips the lender notes with a steel spring clasp. Many wallets need two fingers to take down notes, this one can be done with one hand. Poor security design but perfect for the heavy money and honest Thai economic climate.
– Enjoy Thailand and it’s individuals and enjoy their cultural and spiritual ideals of honesty, kindness, politeness, regard for elders and hospitality.
– Can realize good enough Thai, have Thai close friends and connections.
– Booked a over night visa run airline flight for one individual from Bangkok to Penang come back.
– Didn’t purchase travel insurance because of character and duration of vacation and mistaken belief it will be covered as flights had been purchased utilizing a local Thai lender Platinum card.
– Wear walking / fisherman shorts, tee clothing and travelled lighting with only small, gentle sling pack to transport clothing & toiletries.
– Reach Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport terminal with the required time and breeze thru web sign in desk D that is uncommon for a spending budget airline.
– Queue for 10-15 mins and clear International / Immigration on right hands part of Domestic departures.
– Visit the x-ray scanning station on the significantly side beside the specific clearance tunnel for VIPs near air conditioner as few travellers waiting in range. It’s an extremely quiet period with several passengers passing thru protection.
– Spot my bag up for grabs before enter x-ray device and empty my pockets of passport, wallets (1 x international, 1 x regional / Thai), mobile phone and load into my bring handbag.
– Meander across the queue and when going to pass handbag into x-ray device, I notice a slender build, frizzy hair, Indonesian looking ‘safety’ guy standing between your scanning worker and air conditioner device. I request him in Thai and stage if I should get rid of my belt. States ‘Yes’.
– I remove my belt, open up my handbag and put inside. Handbag is waiting to move thru machine.
– Then i focus my interest on passengers before me, security man on other aspect of x-ray will be slow and holding individuals back again to move thru your body x-ray.
– I pass thru entire body x-ray. Does not result in any alarms. During this time period not looking or spot the position of my handbag.
– My handbag is looking forward to me on the exit desk within an upright position. At first didn’t think a lot of this but upon reflection strikes me as odd, when i laid the handbag down as security constantly require it laid down.
– After exit, place belt back again on and place all the valuable back to my brief pockets.
– Panel the flight. Backpack is small and lighting enough to tuck beneath the seat before me.
– Take time to re-check just how much Baht I must convert at location. I withdrew THB 10,000 a couple of days before the flight.
– Discover nothing at all as all of the notes have died!
– Think! Understand it cannot fallout as information are held restricted by clip and folded into wallet. Working back again reach the final outcome the Indo looking protection guy stole my cash because that's only period wallet wasn’t on me.
– I’m on the flight so nothing at all I can do about any of it until I go back to Bangkok the very next day.
AOT Reaction & Investigation
– Following day make contact with Bangkok.
– Exit the arrival gate and mind right to the AOT Details table.
– Explain what happened to the assist desk girl. She phone calls her boss and airport terminal security. I talk with a girl on the cell phone at X-ray safety.
– Have to mention, at first helpdesk girl experienced this ‘stupid Jap tourist’ irritated appear on her behalf face but when i described my plight in greater detail both she and her boss agreed and had been empathetic to my circumstance. They agreed with my evaluation, this must happen often but foreigners cannot perform, don’t understand or bother because of small or unused cash, insufficient evidence and insurance policy to check out up.
Financial firms where the tale gets bizarre but in the event that you realize Thailand realise it’s typical and just how it’s done around right here.
– I inform X-ray girl at length what happened. I inquire if she can go through the CCTV footage. States yes and asks what period, which x-ray station, what I appear to be, what I’m wearing, color and type of handbag. She says she'll call back about 10 mins after reviewing the footage.
– X-ray girl phone calls back and informs me she is just a trainee and they just keep footage for present day from 8:00am – 8:00pm. Says easily want to evaluation yesterday’s footage I have to get in touch with AOT HQ.
– (WTF) I tell her after that complete me to the individual in charge of protection. She responds, she actually is in control. I say, at the moment you show you’re a trainee and today you’re the boss! You also say, you will consider the footage and obtain my details and claim not to own it! She asks to talk with Helpdesk lady.
– They chat, finishes call. Helpdesk woman says, I have to go on it up with AOT HQ following day as nowadays is definitely Sunday or Tourist Law enforcement outside (in standard Thai fashion, X-ray young lady just tried to exceeded off obligation).
– I inform Helpdesk girl, Yes, next thing I will go on it up with Tourist and Immigration Law enforcement as I have got connections there but very first I need a written report or documentation from AOT concerning this incident.
– Informed her I don’t caution if AOT perform or do nothing concerning this incident but I want something with AOT letterhead, my detail, proof id, tale and AOT worker and signature to aid my promises when I document a report for the authorities.
– Helpdesk calls safety again. Protection says they don’t possess such form or treatment.
– (OMG, I’m actually obtaining angry by this phase) I state “what the hell you perform if you find a bomb scare!”. You need to be joking. Safety don’t file survey or log being an incident?
– She states I have to file a written report with Tourist Law enforcement.
– I state what! This incident happened inside the airport terminal, after Immigration. What will Tourist Law enforcement want to do with it. I request her who hires or is in charge of protection at AOT Suvarnabhumi.
– She confirms it’s AOT responsibility. Which means you need to take responsibility and possible liability and formally acknowledge my scenario. Furthermore tell her for a global airport it is a joke.
– She calls and places me onto her boss. Simultaneously suddenly, three patrol security employees swarm in on those nifty two steering wheel mobilators (dunno why they use those super restricted uniforms, makes them appearance gay).
– Helpdesk boss empathises and will abide by my circumstance and AOT nonsense but states nothing she can perform about (true) and have to document a Tourist Law enforcement document.
– Boss Patrol boy foretells Helpdesk girl, not really looking or speaking with me. Strange component is, worries in his eye was palpable. It had been very apparent he knew that which was heading on and had been fearful of direct exposure and recriminations.
– I show Helpdesk & Patrol that I wish to log this incident therefore i may take it up with Tourist & Immigration Law enforcement.
– Following Tourist Law enforcement dude arrives on his mobilator.
– She explains AOT won’t document a report but I have to opt for Tourist Police workplace outside to document a report. I inquired her, are you currently sure that is correct? She confirms yes. I confidence her and day Tourist Law enforcement. During this time I've yet to very clear Immigration and enter Thailand.
Thai Tourist Police
– Move Immigration and enter Thailand.
– Explain my tale to officers in control (three of these) and desk women at Tourist Law enforcement station and complete an application with my tale.
– Mom officer asks easily have insurance plan. Said I don’t understand because have to check out if and what it addresses.
– After filling the shape, Chief officer (can easily see from the walls chart) states he and I'll verify the footage ourselves. I stated sounds like advisable and what I requested to do to begin with.
– We move thru the VIP x-ray tunnel reserved for Embassy and federal government employees and I confront the X-ray security.
– You can find amount of X-ray bosses prearranged a the table and I speak to the X-ray female I earlier spoke to on the telephone.
– All of the working X-ray staff are considering me, once again with a appear of total trepidation.
– I’m encircled by X-ray bosses and helpers at video clip station plus they all have exactly the same appear of concern and discovery on the faces.
– They ask what time, do it again around 12 noon, Chief would go to Immigration to check on exact time, works out 12:24.
– I start to see the footage.
– View it from three angles, straight behind or entry, straight in the front or exit and from the third angle showing the air conditioning blind place.
– Everything I did so, with regards to emptying my pockets, undoing my belt, moving thru and picking right up is right and handbag passes thru device.
– Officers in the footage are lacking or out of location!
– Indo man isn't there. I inform them he was standing up between your X-ray operator and the air-conditioning unit. Right now I’m talking to a good searching Chinese Thai AOT established, he say’s it’s difficult as no one ought to be working or position for the reason that position.
– I mentioned rewind and i want to see the photo where I undo my belt. I inform Chinese AOT man, only reason I remove my belt will be I asked Indo man and thought to do. He has been standing there.
– I look once again and Indo isn't in the eyesight! AOT individuals in the footage are wrong. There footage exhibits security in the front and only 1 on X-ray operator aspect pushing hand bags out. That was false. When I approved thru there is no one in the front and the floater on the operator part had not been there.
– I could see what’s heading on. I appear Chinese AOT man in the attention and say ‘are usually you 100% certain the footage is not tampered’. He doesn’t provide me a straight reply.
– I furthermore ask which are the Indo X-ray worker, I explain? Chinese AOT states they have a large number of workers, doesn’t understand everyone.
– I say, you don’t possess a roster or understand who should be functioning what stations at what period (thinking their operations have become much like casino)? No solution.
– I inform AOT and Chief obviously without proof there is no situation. We all consent to conclude it.
– We get back to Law enforcement station and I get yourself a copy of my statement and leave.
– Video appears like another time frame and security staff can be superimposed over my footage and components cut out. I’m certain the movie was ‘fixed’ longer beforehand but there is also a black place between talking with X-ray gal and viewing the footage myself. Normally individuals doing these activities know the machine better than individuals running it. They understand all of the loopholes or methods to cover up their tracks. That is forget about prevalent than in Thailand.
– This kind of criminal activity can't be done minus the perfect set up, means, chance and co-ordination i.electronic. time, handbag, wallet, stealing abilities, inside accomplices or teamwork.
– Strange component in this debacle had been never did AOT or Law enforcement attack, intimidate or task my tale. It had been very clear these were all fearful to be uncovered and hoped or prayed it had been protected.
– I find out, unlike Australian Gold bank cards, Thai Platinum cards just include incidents on the trip or means debt forgiveness in the event that you die that is a provided and regular with most personal financial debt nevertheless locally it’s marketed as insurance coverage. Which means I'll not get my cash back.
– The incident highlighted the flaws in my own equipment and procedure for travelling (you don't need to carry huge amounts of money but obtained stung not achieving this previously) but as stated, we create an implicit assumption and allow our guard down, individuals tasked with safety are usually verified and there to keep rather than violate it. Not in Thailand or any nation.
@Woojin: I’m really happy you wrote all of this down in details. That is truly bizarre. In case a simliar well-orchestrated theft at BKK airport terminal security hadn’t happened certainly to me, I would think you're making this up. Nevertheless, you are not. I attempted contacting the Bangkok Article with my tale when it just happened. Total silence. I believe it’s time and energy to find other methods to obtain this issue the eye it deserves. I’m focusing on it.
And lastly, what I really do now when going right through security. I actually lock all my luggage and tuck anything fascinating deep inside:
@Michel: Did you have the ability to get something about your knowledge published inside the Bangkok Write-up? If so, are you experiencing a URL/deal with for this article online – is it possible to post it right here?
If you do, that’s one much better than I could do. Regardless, nothing appears to have changed. It is a genuine shame.
It had been reported, in fact it is available since that time.
Documented AS :
“GANGSTERS IN AIRPORT SECURITY Employees BKK INT’L Airport terminal”
As reported before, I has been furthermore robbed in BKK at X-Ray check-up. Today when I must fly, I get ready my hands luggage first, maintain nothing in my own pockets, and lock the handbag (code numbered). I understand BKK Airport Security Employees is a couple of sharks, taking possibility of these job to steal tourists.
Documented to AOT, Bangkok Blog post (published), Tourist Law enforcement : no feedback. That is Thailand…
Below is my reaction to friends with comparable sentiments on a social media web site.
Whilst I applaud and assistance your action to improve it with the appropriate authorities, will once again re-iterate you should understand Thailand also it political and company complexities because the cause your initiative drops on deaf ears it it has acknowledgement correct to the very best.
“Yeah it’s bad but I don’t harbour ill experiencing as you must realize Thailand and how company or ‘items’ are done around right here. AOT possibly hire the contracting business responsible for airport protection as a related celebration and for peanuts (to report good income) with the data and tacit approval they'll ensure it is up in other ‘methods’ that don’t harm additional Thais.
Remember they are targeting gentle targets or foreigners and the venturing types. I’m convinced easily was in suit along with other business gear they might not contact me. This is simply not the only real scam at the airport terminal. Lesson is I have to take more safety measures but which should not be essential now because they all understand me.”
However, I believe neither AOT, Tourist Law enforcement, or even media treatment about this issue ! Steal foreigners is Alright for mainstream thai individuals…
@Woojin: Good point, theft is sadly a part of journeying and conducting business in Thailand. The matter that makes this therefore annoying is that it requires invest airport *security*…the extremely place and folks whose focus is meant to be safety. Occasionally that’s what sort of world just functions, but that’s even more reason I’m thinking about shining a light onto it.
@Michel: I comprehended that it was documented in the Bangkok Posting newspaper. That might be my objective. If it had been mentioned there, individuals would pay a little more attention. Not forgetting, other information outlets would choose it up.
Issue is really as follows :
You down payment your belongings for looking at at X-Ray. And you also go after that to your individual checking, plus some “officer” contact you, etc… If your belongings aren't ALL secured in the locked bag, the small amount of time they check the body, the “sticky fingertips” do theft rapidly, should they can access, exact same pickpockets, they're trained compared to that. Better get ready before go examining. After getting robbed, I used in this manner, locked cabin luggage, no more theft later on. I often make use of BKK Airport terminal, and I understand security staff is really a couple of sharks.
I discuss this with a thai attorney : he stated me “som nam na” this means “it’s your fault”. Thai people think in the event that you give chance of being robbed, it really is regular to be. That is Thailand ! Essentially the most dishonest individuals I actually see, travelling 87 nations… For thai individuals, foreigner is definitely guilty. Never guilty will be the thais…
I've another visa run owing this weekend.
I curently have the luggage lock but as back-up but if permitted will photograph the x-ray attendants before and also have both mobile phones either aspect of my wallet documenting video in the bag since it passes x-ray safety.
I’m wii candidate as they know me but for somebody with the balls this a fantastic ‘sting’ tactic.
– To comprehend the Thai behaviour need to realise the annals of Thailand. Before King Rama IV slavery had been legal. Means the get better at could perform anything to the slave.
– This culture or ‘grasp servant’ mentality nevertheless prevails nowadays in the workforce. Servant won't do anything minus the masters instruction, consent or information.
– Utilized a luggage lock and AOT x-ray and VAT individuals were their normal anal personal but no problems.
– But a fascinating experience returning.
Immigration on Arrival
– Head to Immigrant counter and obtain a hostile reception from sign in boy.
– Needs I need to compose my Visa No on the Arrival cards. I frown at him and state the work permit will be cancelled (if it wasn’t already apparent from the stamp and textual content next to the permit staring him in the facial skin).
– He belligerently says ‘No you need to create your Visa No!’ and buzzes his boss for help.
– I mentioned ‘Do guess what happens is Tourist one month stamp?’ ‘I cannot utilize the function permit because it’s cancelled’.
– Following a tense endure off, I tell him ‘Are you likely to stamp my passport easily compose the Visa No despite the fact that I already informed you it doesn’t utilize?’
– No response.
– I state ‘Okay, Are you currently sure?’.
– After that suddenly he the adjustments his attitude. States in Thai ‘Oh Oh yes I notice you cannot make use of work permit’ (today he’s my companion!). I reply in Thai ‘Yes, cannot make use of Visa because cancelled currently’
– He stamps my passport and I move thru Immigration.
– Coincidence? First-time, isolated incident, Immigration boy on his period?
– Improbable. Nothing happens by chance in Thailand. I suspect there's a marker or ‘sticky note’ on the machine that flags my passport, with the instructions from the masters to servants to create my life difficult to arrive. Immigration boy changed his tune because I challenged him not the rule so he was putting his neck at risk and he wasn’t likely to do this without cover from his bosses.
– What’s also clear is minus the passport stamp, I'd have a significant visa violation. They might spin it several ways, say I attemptedto enter Thailand under false pretences or just say I wrote the Visa No on the Arrival card so it’s my fault.
– In any event will see what goes on the next time but extra care required now then one to take into account it when trying to get visa or passing thru Immigration.
@Michel: Good recommendation. Easier to be safe (as well as perhaps, in accordance with some, paranoid) than to be sorry.
I keep every thing locked in my own bag nowadays when I proceed through airport security. And within that bag, I keep carefully the especially valuable items either saved in zipped compartments or behind velcro. It’s likely to take some work to access it.
So far as the “it’s your fault”, I’ve heard that far away aswell, India included. In the event that you leave a door open, it’s an invitation ahead in – that’s the attitude.
I could appreciate your frustration. We recently had our checked bags broken into while riding an overnight bus in Thailand. Sometimes, it doesn’t appear to end.
@Woojin: I’d be surprised in the event that you were permitted to photograph x-ray attendants (or anyone official). But in the event that you were, healthy.
Having your phone recording can be an interesting idea, that's, unless it too gets stolen 🙁
Unless it puts me in virtually any danger or really weakens my position, I makes people in bureaucratic positions of power feel great by following their directions. Less friction, Perhaps.
I hear that Thai immigration is sticky based on several factors, especially the office/border crossing.
Extra care: always advisable, especially when coping with things such as visas, bureaucracy and paperwork. You need to watch the process such as a hawk, unfortunately.
Am glad things exercised, more or less, this time around.
Being an older woman, I tuck my folded Thai baht into my bra. Sometimes I put bank cards there also. Can’t utilize the neck wallets as “they” will dsicover the cords and demand you put it in to the plastic bins….Also I avoid BKK even though I must pay more. You can find well-known scams involving tourists shopping and being accused of stealing in the concourse shops. Logic is very absent from Thailand; don’t expect it or you'll be frustrated. I reside in Thailand.
Advice and trust your approach for coping with Thai uniform and it’s the cultural solution to handle it in Asia however the Suvarnibhumi boys appear to deliberately provoke or seek an emotional response. Perhaps that’s the theory and pretext for sending victims to ‘Bangkok Hilton’. Curently have my embassy or consulate contact number handy but I read from other travelers’ experience, mine is useless.
Had similar thoughts of concealing my banknotes but I don’t know what’s worst, depending in which a guy puts them, threat of theft or being accused to do lewd acts to pictures of The Majesty!
Also considered using another BKK airport or Don Muang however they don’t have international flights. You're lucky to reside within an area i.e Phuket that attracts international travelers.
What I learnt is anything on the post-Immigration side of Suvarnibhumi and perhaps including are above regulations so requires extreme care and vigilance.
@jeannie: Many thanks for your comment, as well as your perspective of something surviving in Thailand and traveling in your community.
I could appreciate taking such money-hiding measures. At BKK airport, hide or elsewhere tuck your cash wherever it is possible to. I had no proven fact that Bangkok airport had this type of bad reputation (at the very least bad enough in order to avoid, even though means flying out of another airport). However, after flying round the region recently, I’ve grown to favor airports like KL and Singapore.
@Woojin: Always smart to have your embassy contact info with you in the event you come across trouble. (I’m sorry to listen to they're useless.) The point is, it’s really unfortunate that you are feeling the necessity to plan this way. But again, better safe than sorry.
I’m laughing at your comments regarding tucking money and lewd acts with images of the king. You're probably right – not just a great idea.
I'm stashing US currency in the bra….Alexander and Ben and George don’t appear to mind!
I did so say Thai before and I don’t know why I said that because I usually change money before I leave on a journey. I really do fold Thai 20s though for tuktuk rides and I usually carefully fold them therefore the image is externally. I am moving away from this topic before I enter trouble LOL
@jeannie: Your stash of Bens – LOL!
Good notion on the maintaining your bills carefully folded externally, which means you know which denomination you’re coping with. Particularly useful based on where those bills are tucked!!
This incident can also be seen as borderline scam. Comments from customers I submitted to Jetstar.
I was struggling to check in because of this flight.
Impossible to verify my or the Jetstar sign in boy or supervisor’s story but I attained the desk 37-35 mins before departure. Supervisor claims to possess closed and left the desk at 38mins before departure.
I lost time searching for the Jetstar service desk that was unmanned then distracted by louts or scam artists at the service counter who claim to be Jetstar staff.
Even though I returned to desk and check-in boy remains. Uncertain why he wasn’t helping at the gate but seems he was looking forward to the passengers who have been bumped from their seats. Note there is several four other passengers who have been refused sign in.
I am acquainted with Suwarnbhumi airport and know there's ample time and energy to clear Immigration and security therefore i suggested he should quickly process sign in so we are able to go thru.
Sign in boy (who were a contractor rather than Jetstar staff) rather than checking in and calling the gate staff to see of our intention to board was instead arguing and stalling in what were an attempt to make sure we missed the flight.
After wasting plenty of time talking with him and his ‘supervisor’ I asked eventually asked concerning the ticketing options. Cannot get yourself a straight story to either purchase a new ticket or pay extra to take another flight.
In any event his disposition changed dramatically and said you can find three free seats on the 21:20pm flight and he is able to sell if you ask me at the ‘penalty’ rate of THB2,400. Uncertain where he got that price when it’s advertised for THB 5,700 to get online.
He also offered another group THB 3,700 to talk about amongst themselves. To rub salt into injury he mentioned the 21:20pm flight had been going to be 1 hour late (that’s the headline delay).
I entertained this and asked, easily wanted to proceed how exactly to pay once the service desk is unmanned, he said we're able to pay him. I was astonished, I couldn’t believe this is airline or an Australian company best practice.
I was a tale and what’s more unbelievable, following the shifty tactics of him and Jetstar he actually thought I/we could trust them on another flight. Who’s to state, he or Jetstar don’t repeat or it’s scam and we don’t actually get yourself a seat. Will need to have rocks in his head.
In any event Jetstar contractors sticking with regulations or borderline scam, it had been too dodgy for my liking so both other group and I purchased tickets from Air Asia.
Won’t say I'll never fly with Jetstar again but will avoid no matter what as never had this issue with other budget airlines or Air Asia.
Recommend Jetstar being an Australian company must get it’s act together and behave in customer oriented or decent manner rather than sink to the depths of other dubious ‘practices’ at Suwarnbhumi airport.
@Woojin: Sounds sketchy. Let’s hope once the opportunist who tried to market you the ticket gets fired, he isn’t later hired by Bangkok airport security!
@Woojin: The next time you travel in Thailand, you must carry a hidden camcorder. Your stories certainly are a riot!
Haha I returned to the Jetstar sign in desk following day after checking set for AA.
A female was sitting at the Jetstar Desk L wearing contractor uniform and id.
She pretended never to notice me but I asked if she was a Jetstar representative. She said No (I already got confirmation from Info that’s where Jetstar sit).
She was lying – I possibly could tell from her voice she was the ‘supervisor’ I spoke to on the phone.
I forgot to say, when I told the boy at check it had been a scam he literally jumped out of his seat and ran!
Anyway it’s laughable, to any extent further I’m going to obtain name and ids – start playing the person.
Daniel is it possible to contact IATA concerning this couple of snakes in this fucking so-called “AIRPORT TERMINAL, name their king ? Acting in Thailand is impossible, but IATA have power worldwide.
I don’t go on it seriously now.
Everyone understands Suwarnabhumi airport is one big zoo and a might scam and that just about everything is scamable.
But it’s funny, I was telling my friends Suwarnabumi is not any dissimilar to Datong Beach, Patpong, Pattaya, Koh Samui or Nana Plaza.
Actually it’s more comical because it’s done beneath the auspices of authority. Classic was yesterday, X-ray bozo asked me to obtain my wallet and valuables and devote the tray.
I smiled at him and said my wallet doesn't have any metal. I said ‘as you wish’, put everything into my carry bag and locked it with THB60 lock and asked him if he was happy, then watched all my bags pass thru the entire scanning process.
Essentially where their is nectar you can find bees. Temptation is too greet. Those clueless GBP, USD, EUR, SGD and AUD floating thru the toll gate, is it possible to blame them (being AOT) for determining ways to work the machine and getting a little bit of the pie.
Another classic, I had another Jetstar passengers from Singapore who missed their flight, ask if there is a departure tax. Made me think someone in Thai tights could easily demand THB 500 departure tax from all of them.
EOD simply need to keep cool, smile and slide the right path thru. I was reading about Belgian boy who spent time in the ‘Bangkok Hilton’. He observed the only real farang ‘refugees’ who finished up there, were ones who lost their head and made the people in uniform lose face.
Despite the fact that they hassle me, I laugh when i know I’ve really pissed off or worried AOT. I've essentially put their finest stealer (Indo boy) unemployed!
@Michel: I believe Woojin is right. It's the way it is and folks have significantly more or less accepted it. His advice of keeping cool and helping those in uniform not lose face…that’s just how, for better or worse.
With that said, I suspect the very best route to try to expose that is through the media, by emailing the news headlines editors of major newspapers throughout Southeast Asia and providing them with this link. When you can find some email addresses, I’ll be pleased to send the email. For the time being, I’ll do some searches when I get yourself a chance.
@Woojin: You’ve offered the very best pieces of advice: take note, maintain a feeling of humor, never lose your cool.
Today airport was busy with many farangs possibly because of peaceful election but I’m very happy to say in addition to the Jetstar check-in scam, I re-entered the Kingdom without the intimidation, shake down or hassles from Immigration.
Woohoo, nice personal gift. In Thai tradition or Buddhist style perhaps my luck is changing!
@Woojin: Good to listen to. Keep us posted on any future funny business at BKK.
Sorry to listen to what happened for you. I'm currently writing a book about airport security TSA in america and Thailand. I'll have to change it out up just a little now after reading your story.
But, you aren't sure that the amount of money was stolen there, are you currently? Because she was seen doing something suspicious doesn’t automaticaly prove she actually is guilty. Many of them are thieves yet most are honest. If she achieved it she will probably lose her job.
But, anyway, I'd like to know the results of the investigation. I’ve lived in Thailand 14 years now rather than had anything stolen from me.
Sanndune, I’m sorry if my writing didn't make this clear. I'm 100% certain that the amount of money was stolen there by Bangkok airport security employees. There is no doubt in my own mind. And Bangkok airport security managers confirmed it there at that moment when i made the accusation. Not forgetting, I received a wire transfer from the personal bank-account in Thailand in the total amount that I claimed was stolen.
A similar thing, almost, happened to my girlfriend about 4 days ago changing onto a link flight at Bangkok airport (hand luggage) security.
she put her bags through and waited for collection another side, they asked whose bag was “this” also it being hers she stepped forward. I was beside her.
One bloke (mid to late 20s) preceded to open the bag and rummage and pull things out, he took out her jewellery box and her purse and some other activities and walked off using them, out of site. She called after him that he’s prohibited to find her stuff out of her eyesight (as he could possibly be doing anything!) but he ignored her and slowly riffled through (showing others) her jewellery box and purse .
When he returned he shoved things back the bag and hurried her on…”all done, ok, bye, go, bye, hurry up…” she (wisely) noticed having less her purse (containing £60 English cash and her debit card) and said, “hold on, where’s my purse. ”
He feigned innocence and just tried to her hurry her along, after her persistence of questioning where her purse had opted he lifted up his paperwork to reveal her hidden purse which she grabbed and walked off…
we had virtually no time to move and see anyone once we had 20 mins to get our link and I envisaged me throttling somebody and finding yourself in jail!
I really do however have a precise (ish) time and time and a rough explanation of at fault(s)
Who I record it to though?
Thanks a lot for sharing your expertise, Tim. That is terrible, however unsurprising.
Concerning reporting your encounter. I attempted AOT (Airports of Thailand) being an official complaint. I really do not have a get in touch with, but think I simply send an email for some address on their site. I received no reaction. Also, you could also try sending a note to the editors at the Bangkok Write-up. I did so that, too but in no way received a reply there either. You could also want to compose a letter to the Thailand Ministry of Tourism. Unfortunately, your options aren’t great. Nevertheless, should you choose write or contact these organizations and get a reply, I would end up being grateful if you’d tell us what you’ve noticed.
Sad Information but no suprise nearly all Thais will rob at the fall of just one 1 baht and have to be trained a lesson in manners. They're useless also without morals or ideals. There Buddha preaching ois all rubbish and also have in no way known god as well as helped each other. THAT IS BKK and Chonburi cukture against falang. There the only real country on earth that contact you falang. They believe they're special although cannot speak English or present any eduacte. They jail individuals for speaking the reality and evey federal government is corrupt irrespective of stature.
I really do not confidence or give any possibility to rob. I got my mothers engraved band stolen by one of these brilliant rats and I'd happily burie the Thai that got it
Scum of modern society sorry maintain punching KARMA 🙂
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