An airline passenger has been charged to court and convicted over false claim of missing baggage.
The passenger (names withheld) was said to have boarded an Ibom Air Q10319 from Abuja to Lagos and on arrival in Lagos raised an alarm that one of his checked-in bags containing valuable items was missing.
Following the claim and threat raised by the passenger on the airline counter, the airline launched an investigation.
The airline said its officers swung into action for proper tracking and it was confirmed that all bags were loaded on to the aircraft from Abuja.
In an update on the incident, the airline said, “Due to the passenger’s complaint, constant calls, disturbance, verbal abuse and threat to the company about his alleged missing bag and valuables items (Designer brand shoes, clothes, etc.) contained therein, we requested a replay of the CCTV footage of that day from Bicourtney Airline Services Limited, Managers of the Murtala Mohammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2) to ascertain what became of the bag.
“From the CCTV footage, it was discovered that the bag the passenger claimed to have been missing, was his checked-in bag. The CCTV footage showed when the passenger picked up the bag from the conveyor belt, with a bag tag on it, he proceeded to the restroom where he removed the Bag tag from the bag in order to escape the waiting Ibom Air Security Baggage Reconciliation Team, who would have retrieved our baggage claim tag from him, and went straight to the Ibom Air counter, where he raised a false alarm about his alleged missing checked baggage.”
The airline added that when it was established that there was no missing bag and that the passenger was dubious in his claim, the case was reported to the terminal’s aviation security and police where he was thereafter invited to the office for further investigation and resolution of the issue.
Upon his arrival, he insisted that his bag was missing and was handed over to the security agencies where he made his statement.
When confronted with the CCTV footage, he broke down and confessed to the crime, it was revealed.
The passenger was charged to court for the offense punishable under section 168 (d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.
He pleaded guilty to the charge and showed remorse for his actions and promised not to repeat them again. He was convicted with an option of fine.
The airline stated that the update was given “to deter unscrupulous elements who are hell-bent on tarnishing the image of Airline Operators while seeking illegitimate gain. We would further like to assure our highly valued passengers of our continuous strive for excellence and the safety and security of our passengers and their checked baggage in our care.”