• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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How in-flight thief was apprehended by Ibom Air

Passenger commends Nigerian engineer for averting potential aircraft incident

A passenger identified as Ogenechuko David on an Ibom Air flight from Lagos to Abuja was apprehended for allegedly stealing a laptop.

He was said to have taken another passenger’s laptop from his bag in the overhead cabin.

The owner of the laptop, who suspected the movement of the said David within the aircraft, decided to check where his laptop was kept and immediately realised the item was no longer there.

The owner raised the alarm by notifying the crew members accordingly.

A search was immediately instituted, which led to about half an hour delay, and the laptop was found with David and was immediately offloaded and handed over to the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN) Aviation Security (AVSEC) for further investigation, who then handed him over to the Police for further investigation, the airline said.

Aniekan Essienette, general manager, marketing communication at Ibom Air, who made this known in a statement said: “Police have since confirmed that the suspect is a member of a large syndicate specialising in stealing onboard aircraft, ” adding that the incident happened on Wednesday, 26 July.

Accordingly, the owner of the laptop voluntarily stepped down from the flight to assist with the investigation and promised to follow up with the case to its logical conclusion, the statement added.

“In line with our corporate policy, Ibom Air has zero tolerance for this sort of criminal activity on board our flights and will prosecute any offender to the full extent of the law.

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“It would be recalled that one Kingsley Chinsunum was alleged to have stolen the sum of one hundred thousand Naira (N100,000.00) from a wallet kept inside a bag in the overhead bin, while on board Ibom Air flight 4150 at Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal two Ikeja, on the 31st of May 2023.

“He has since been charged to Court and is presently facing trial at the Ikeja Magisterial District.

“Not too long ago, a passenger, one Mr Adebayi Adelugba, staged the stealing of his own checked-in bag and declared it missing, accusing the airline of negligence amidst threats of litigation, but for CCTV footage which caught him in the act.

“He was convicted of the crime of threat against Ibom Air, disturbance of public peace, and lies at the Ogba Magistrate Court in Lagos, where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two weeks imprisonment and a fine.”

The airline confirmed the report of an increase in stealing onboard aircraft which it said highlights the importance of passengers being extra vigilant and attentive to their belongings during flights.

Following instructions from the crew members and taking necessary precautions can help minimise such incidents, it stated

“Passengers are, therefore, encouraged to report any suspicious activity they observe during their flights to the crew members immediately, as early intervention can prevent potential thefts and ensure a safer travel experience for everyone on board.”