Stealing from Indian women is universal ?

In the past, I’ve written about theft from passengers’ bags by baggage handlers in Indian airports, and the mysterious chalk marks used by customs officials to mark certain bags for special treatment.

Little did I know that singling out NRIs for stealing from their bags is an international practice.   According to this news article, Michael Arato, a TSA official in Newark airport  was found guilty of stealing cash and other valuables from travelers.  Apparently, Arato and his subordinate would steal the cash from bags during X-ray screening, and sometimes subject their intended victims’ carry on bags for additional screening so they could pocket the cash.

Here is where it gets interesting:

According to the original complaint, authorities became suspicious after receiving several complaints from passengers on Air India’s daily nonstop flight to India that money and valuables from their carry-on bags had gone missing after TSA employees at Arato’s checkpoint had searched them by hand.

The victims were mostly women of Indian decent (sic) who did not speak English, the complaint said.

What is even more interesting (and hilarious) is how Arato tries to justify his actions:

Arato was caught on tape explaining his action by saying that the travelers were leaving the country with “our money,” ABC reported.

Now, if only our Indian baggage handlers could come up with a similar justification.

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Stealing from Indian women is universal ?

  1. They stole money and valuables from carry-on bags? Pretty risky, because you’re usually in the vicinity. Stealing from check-in bags would be easier, I would have thought… but man, what a defence Arato came up with! Scumbag.

    • You’re right, I wonder how he managed to avoid getting caught red handed. Unless he made the women step away for personal screening – then they couldn’t have seen what he was doing..

  2. OMG!! I read about Newark some time ago. It sickens me! Apart from the hassle of security, we have to deal with ridiculousness as such. Shame on them.

    • Yes, the article is a couple of weeks old. But what, are you calling his defense ridiculous – no, no, he’s an upright citizen doing his patriotic best to defend his country! 😉

  3. I’m always nervous about stuff in my handbag while I’m going through the x-ray even on domestic flights.
    I do try and keep carry on luggage locked, especially if I’m going for a wedding or something where some jewellery is required.

    What utter scum, trying to justify thieving like that:(

  4. I don’t think this is a problem only in India.
    At Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada – a friend of mine, travelling to India (but did not get on her flight for a very sad reason), had two bottles of booze and some jewelery stolen from her luggage, once she finally picked it back up. It happens all over the world. Very sad people can be so slimy.
    I like your blog, it’s very nice looking.
    Take care.
    Joe

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