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In-Flight Heist: Man Charged With Pilfering $23,000 From Fellow Passengers on Plane

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Man arrested for in-flight theft.
Scoot Airlines. (Screenshot)

A man, identified as Zhang Xiuqiang, a 52-year-old Chinese national, has been formally charged with theft, accused of pilfering more than $23,000 in cash from three fellow passengers during a budget flight from Vietnam to Singapore.

The incident occurred on a Scoot-operated flight, the budget subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore on December 16. After a passenger alerted the cabin crew to the suspected theft, the Airport Police Division was activated for investigation.

Court charge documents reported by Channel NewsAsia allege that Zhang stole 3 million Vietnamese dong ($123) from one passenger’s backpack, 510 million Vietnamese dong ($20,950) and a 50 Singapore dollar note ($38) from a black messenger bag belonging to another, and $1,000 and 930 Singapore dollars ($700) from an envelope in a gray bag belonging to a third passenger, CNN reported.

Cabin theft is considered a federal crime in many countries, with instances being more prevalent than commonly perceived by travelers. The airline, Scoot, has warned both crew and travelers to exercise vigilance and secure their valuables to prevent such incidents.

If found guilty of theft, Zhang could potentially face imprisonment, fines, or a combination of both penalties for each charge.

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