8 Useful Tips on How to Avoid Being a Victim of "Laglag-Bala" Scam in NAIA

Tips on How to Avoid Being a Victim of Laglag-Bala Scam in NAIA Manila Airport

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.

  1. Always lock your bags/luggage. Make sure that zippers, pouches, and pockets of your luggage are closed and locked.

  2. 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.

  3. Don't let anyone touch or go near your bags.

  4. Carry your bags/luggage. Avoid getting the help of porters. With all these "tanim bala schemes" happening, it is hard to trust anyone.

  5. Always keep an eye on your bags / luggage even while you walk-thru metal detectors.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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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  1. Best tip... vacation somewhere else, give the Pinas a big miss until these corrupt officials are put in jail.

  2. Ask tour and airline operators to boycott the Philippines until this embarrassing scam is fully addressed.

  3. I just hope if Mayor Duterte wins this election, I wish that he will clean out all employees from top position to the lowest to that airport and change them with good employee who really deserve to work better for the filipino people

  4. Use hard luggage with no external pockets and wrap your checked baggage completely in clear cling wrap. Use only heavy duty padlocks on your luggage, as it is easy to pick conventional locks.

  5. Also, before you wrap your bag in cling wrap, place a small thread in an inconspicuous place on the bag, then take a photo of it showing its exact spot on the suitcase so it will be easy to tell if it has been tampered with.


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