An airport police officer points to CCTV footage purporting to show a Lion Air baggage handler stealing items from checked luggage at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in November. (Antara Photo/Lucky R.)

Lion Air Baggage Handlers Busted for Luggage Theft at Soetta


JANUARY 04, 2016

Jakarta. Police have arrested four Lion Air employees for allegedly stealing items from checked bags at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

The arrests stemmed from a complaint filed on Nov. 16, 2015, with the airport police.

Adj. Sr. Comr. Roycke Harry Langie, the airport police chief, said on Sunday that his office, working together with airport operator Angkasa Pura II, set up CCTV cameras in the airport’s baggage-handling area. The cameras later recorded a group of baggage handlers opening luggage, rifling through the contents and stealing items.

Police did not identify the four suspects arrested, except to say that they all worked for Lion Air. One of the suspects, identified only by the initial S., claimed the airline’s security guards were also in on the racket.

“They’d give us a code if it was all clear, then we’d start opening up the bags,” he said, adding that the guards routinely demanded a cut of the loot.

The suspect said he was forced to take part in the racket after joining the company in 2014.

“I didn’t want to do it at first, but the others threatened to beat me up. So I did it. They said we would all share in the loot,” he said.

Andy Saladin, a PR officer at Lion Air, said the airline was working with the police and airport authorites on the investigation, and had also launched its own internal probe.

“If indeed any security officers from the airline are involved and there is evidence to prove it, we will hand them over to the police,” he said.

Soekarno-Hatta general manager Zulfahmi said the airport operator would step up its monitoring of the baggage-handling process with a 24-hour CCTV setup. He also said the operator would work more closely with the airport police and all airlines to boost security throughout the airport.