A screening officer of the Philippines’ Office of Transportation Security (OTS) was caught allegedly stealing $300 dollars from a passenger by ramming the bills into her mouth.
Authorities are now investigating the incident that took place at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in the country.
The female security officer took the passenger’s bag for manual inspection while the passenger walked through an X-ray scanner, according to the Manila Bulletin.
CCTV footage from September 8 showed the officer turn away while placing something into her waist area.
A report by airport authorities said the officer operating the X-ray machine was seen passing the screening officer a bottle of water – this officer was then seen attempting to swallow the bills.
According to the report she was ‘clearly seen deliberately swallowing the dollar bills, folded into one small piece’, and even ignored a passing passenger who tried to ask her something’.
‘She was seen to be having a hard time swallowing the bills despite drinking the bottled water earlier given to her,’ the report added.
The screening officer’s supervisor then approached her, while she ‘was seemingly communicating with her as the latter was obviously almost choking in her effort to swallow the dollar bills while using her hanky to cover her mouth,’ the report said.
In a statement on Monday, the OTS said that the identity of the security officer has been established.
‘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 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.’
OTS Administrator Undersecretary Ma.O Aplasca encouraged informants to report illegal activities committed by OTS personnel.
Following the first reported theft at the security screening point, Mr Aplasca said security measures were implemented, which included removing the jackets and searching pockets of security officers’ uniforms.
The staff members involved were immediately dismissed, prosecuted and reported to the public, Mr Aplasca said.
The footage has since been shared to Reddit, where hundreds of users have commented on the incident. Some joked: ‘Omg money is filthy,’ and ‘She’s money hungry.’
Others questioned her technique: ‘I like how she stands directly in front of the security camera and then takes absolutely ages to finish the job.’