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November 12, 2012

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2 detained after travelers' cash stolen on plane

POLICE are reminding travelers not to bring large amounts of cash onboard airplanes after they arrested two suspected thieves on a plane over the weekend.

The two men in police custody are believed to have stolen about HK$40,000 (US$5,161) on Saturday, according to frontier inspectors based in Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport.

There was a delay of about an hour due to the incident, which happened on Saturday about 4:30pm as the crew of a Shanghai-Macau flight was preparing to take off.

"My money is missing," a woman told the crew after checking her valuables. She carried more than HK$10,000 in cash with her. Some people take large amounts of cash to use in casinos in Macau, a special administrative region where gambling is legal.

Two other passengers soon reported their money missing after hearing the woman.

The flight crew called the police and condoned off the passenger compartment until officers arrived.

Police soon detained a man who other passengers said they found suspicious. The suspect, carrying the stolen money, gave up his accomplice after police intervened. Police said one, a pickpocket, was responsible for stealing and the other was to transfer the money to their bags.

"They took the advantage of the time when travelers were busy putting up their (carry-on) luggage soon after boarding the flight," police said.

The flight was able to take off at 5:40pm.


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