An Ibom Air passenger (name withheld) has been charged to court and convicted with an option of fine for falsely claiming that his bag containing valuable items had gone missing after flying with the airline.
The passenger had travelled through the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2) on Ibom Air flight QI0319 from Abuja to Lagos in February.
According to the airline’s Media and Communications Unit, the unnamed passenger constantly called the company, making verbal abuses and threats about the alleged missing bag.
An investigation into the matter established he had been lying all along. He 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.
The statement read: “On the 20th of February 2023, there was a case of an alleged missing checked-in bag by a passenger (name and details withheld), who boarded Ibom Air flight QI0319 from Abuja to Lagos.
“On arrival, the passenger raised a concern, claiming that he was missing his checked baggage, knowing fully well that this was not true. Our officers swung into action for proper tracking. It was confirmed that all bags were loaded on to the aircraft from Abuja.
“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.
“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.
“He was thereafter invited to the office for further investigation and resolution of the issue. Upon his arrival, he stood his ground, 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.
“He 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”.
Ibom Air said that the statement was issued to deter unscrupulous elements who are hell-bent on tarnishing the image of airline operators while seeking illegitimate gain.
The airline assured passengers of its continuous strive for excellence, as well as the safety and security of their checked baggage in its care.