51 airport cops, personnel sacked over theft

By Alex Santos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2012 02:26 AM | Updated as of Sep 20 2012 10:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Fifty-one airport policemen and personnel have been relieved from duty following a series of theft incidents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

Chief Supt. Jesus Gordon Descanzo, director of the Philippine National Police - Aviation Security Group, said the relief of the policemen and personnel was to prevent possible collusion as an investigation into a series of theft incidents in the terminal is ongoing.

Joven Rivera, 29, was recently arrested in an entrapment operation after footage of him stealing baggages from passengers surfaced.

Rivera has implicated PO2 Glenn Ausan. In a written statement, he said Ausan had given him instructions on his victims.

He also claimed that Ausan used to receive all his stolen items in a coffee shop at the nearby Resorts World Manila.

He also revealed that two Office of Transportation Security staff, who are assigned at the X-ray counter of NAIA-3, gave him tips on who to victimize.

Footage from closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras showed that the suspect has been targeting both foreign and local passengers.

Footage last April 7 showed the suspect stealing the backpack of a sleeping passenger at the 4th floor of the NAIA-3.

Last May 6, the suspect was seen grabbing a bag containing a laptop of a Korean passenger at the departure area.

The suspect was also seen last June 9 taking the bag of a seafarer at an X-ray counter while the other bag of the seafarer was being examined by airport authorities.

The seafarer’s bag reportedly contained cash, jewelry and other valuables amounting to P800,000.