Travellers, beware.....

Subject: Fwd: Daylight Robbery on a flight to Hong Kong .....

common now.
Putting your handbag on the floor is unsafe but we got no choice.
Maybe we should strap the bag on to the safety belt too.

As for bigger bag, it's best to put in the opposite compartment where we can see when someone comes to take away or opening it. If you put in the compartment directly above your head, it is difficult to see.
Thank you for sharing and it will be shared again.

Plse. take 2 minutes of your time to read the message below. Times are hard , and many turn to CRIME ........
This can happen on any airline going to any destination. These are very hard times for a lot of people!!!

I would like to draw your attention to an attempted robbery on a flight into Hong Kong last week.
With an hour to go, during the flight, I thought I noticed my bag being replaced in the overhead locker......I wasn't sure and decided it was probably a fellow passenger, moving it to access their own bag.

I dismissed any thought of any wrong doing, but upon arrival in HK, something told to me to retrieve the bag, just to make sure nothing suspicious had occurred. When I opened the overhead locker (not above me) and saw my leather bag was the only one occupying the space I knew there was a problem.

I examined the content, only to find all of my wife's jewellery, along with some cash had been stolen, during the flight. I raised the alarm and my wife and I quickly blocked both aisles to stop anyone at the back of the plane disembarking....there were around 120 passengers....

My wife and I both shouted for assistance from the stewards and stewardesses. Eventually a steward told me that security had been called but passengers were becoming very agitated and unwilling to show patience or understanding.. they just wanted to get off the wife and I were the only people controlling the passengers.

I pleaded with the passengers to check their own bags at which point three fellow travellers reported they had also been robbed. It was only at this point, did I see any evidence from the cabin crew that they were willing to provide any meaningful support.

I vaguely remember seeing a passenger wearing black, sporting a white base-ball cap and pleaded with the rest of the passengers to see if they could remember anyone fitting my description.

It turned out to be a passenger standing in front of me, who once identified proceeded to offload money, jewelry, camera equipment and false documents, running into tens of thousand, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods.

By this time security had boarded the plane, the Captain had been informed and was standing in the rear section watching the events unfold.

Eventually a policeman boarded the plane and I was able to explain the events leading up to my apprehending the thief. I have since been informed this criminal activity is reaching epidemic proportions and the authorities caught three thieves, just last week, (with 30 already on remand since early December) on flights into HK, with all the criminals coming from the same town in China.

It is estimated that only 5% are being caught judging by the reports of passengers contacting the police after they have arrived at their destination.

They sit in the back row of the plane observing where bags are behind or away from the passengers and systematically pull them from the overhead lockers, while passengers rest or watch movies, take them to the back of the plane and steal any valuable contents. They prey on foreign airlines as the penalties are so lenient, the pay-off makes it worth the risk.

I naively have never thought of robbers operating on planes, but now I have experienced it first hand, there are a few takeaways:

1. Hand luggage should ALWAYS be locked.
2. Do not assume luggage under your seat is safe....last week one passenger had her purse stolen by the guy sitting next to her while she slept !!
3. If in doubt, wear or keep any valuables ON YOU at all times !!
4. Don't assume, like me, that everyone on a flight is a law-abiding citizen.
5. Do not assume business class travel is secure....robbers can be wealthy.

have a small bell inside so that whenever you open , there would be a sound. more  

Jitendra Kumarji. Thank you very much for your concern for me. I appreciate it. I am sorry I miscommunicated. This was a e-mail received by me which I posted as an Abundant Caution for all members of the Circle and their families. I personally was not involved. Yes there was another post somewhere in the Circle where in a Lady member of the Circle mentioned her harrowing Experience when she lost her full suitcase in the train going from Rome to Venice. She saw the theif going with her suitcase and just disappeared. So every one has to be very careful travelling abroad or India. more  
Reply to Raja Chandra: Your harrowing experience, Rajaji, reminded of Naipaul's passage from his book Area of Darkness where he describes the scene on Bombay Harbour on his first visit to India when he fell talking to some one , then suddenly realized that ' luggage was in danger and not all men are brothers". Thank God, you were lucky and got back your belongings. Yes, NO PLACE is safe on earth, water and even in the air. May God protect us all! more  
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