Airport bullet planting scam prompts US Embassy warning

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bullet planting scam

BULLET PLANTING SCAM: THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES IS TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION THROUGH THE EMBASSY WARDEN SYSTEM AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO AMERICAN CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES. PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S. CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD.

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The U.S. Embassy advises all U.S. travelers to the Philippines that, when utilizing for-hire or commercial airlines, travelers should be cognizant of any potential prohibited items they have packed within their baggage or are carrying on their person.

Possession of any prohibited items (live or spent ammunition, knives of any size, anything resembling a prohibited item, etc.) during security processing at airports may subject the traveler to prosecution and stringent penalties (including fines and imprisonment) by local authorities.

We recommend that all U.S. travelers check with their airlines to determine if a particular item is allowed for transport.

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Passengers should also check with the appropriate government authorities in any country they are traveling from, to or transiting through, in order to determine if a particular item is prohibited.

All U.S. travelers should remember that items allowed for transport under U.S. regulations are not necessarily allowable under another country’s regulations.

The Philippine authorities are working to maintain a high level of airport security, especially regarding access issues in the Manila international airport.

Oversight of the airport has increased and a broader effort to improve security is underway.

U.S. citizens who have concerns about airport security in the Philippines or who encounter any problems with airport security are encouraged to contact the Embassy.

Hundreds of American travelers arrive and depart the Philippines every day without issue. However, we encourage all U.S. citizens to exercise good situational awareness during their travels.

U.S. citizen travelers should always maintain positive control of their personal baggage to minimize theft and the introduction of prohibited or contraband items into personal baggage.

Additionally, U.S. citizen travelers should not accept any baggage or packages for transportation from other individuals.
The Department of State offers additional tips for travelers abroad on our main website.

The U.S. Embassy also reminds all travelers that, while in the Philippines, a U.S. citizen is subject to Philippine laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not provide the same protections available in the United States.

A U.S. citizen in trouble can always call the Embassy at (02) 301-2000 and ask to speak to the American Citizen Services unit during business hours or with the Embassy Duty Officer after duty hours.

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