The recent incidents of "laglag-bala" A.K.A. "tanim-bala" extortion scheme happening at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila is quite alarming. The incidence of bullets being "planted" in the luggage of travelers is very scary and I am sure, you don't want that to happen to you.
Here are some tips on how to avoid being a victim of "laglag-bala" extortion scheme in airports.
- Always lock your bags/luggage. Make sure that zippers, pouches, and pockets of your luggage are closed and locked.
- Do not accept any packages ("padala") from anyone. If you accept any "padala" check thoroughly its content even if it came from your relatives or friends.
- Don't let anyone touch or go near your bags.
- Carry your bags/luggage. Avoid getting the help of porters. With all these "tanim bala schemes" happening, it is hard to trust anyone.
- Always keep an eye on your bags / luggage even while you walk-thru metal detectors.
- After your luggage passed thru the airport x-ray machine, if a Security Screening Officer (SSO) tells you that they saw a bullet on your bag, don't let them touch your bag. Ask them in a nice way if you could see the monitor of the x-ray machine to prove their findings. Still, don't let anyone touch or go near your luggage.
Note: According to a Security Screening Officer that I interviewed, depending on the settings of the x-ray machine, the last 10-30 x-ray images can still be retrieved.
- If they insist to manually check your bags, request them that there should be witnesses before opening the bag or perhaps call your lawyer or an Airport Police for proper documentation of the incident.
- Stay calm and don't panic.
I hope these tips will help you avoid become the next victim of these conscienceless individuals who victimize innocent passengers and travelers.
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Do you have any tips to add? Please leave a comment below.
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