A 35-year-old American has been arrested after two Korean students reported having their luggage stolen at Clark Airport.
Julio Cesar Sanchez told investigating officers today (Thursday, December 27) that he had stolen the bags because he “disliked Koreans”.
He was arrested by agents of the airport’s security department, the police’s Aviation Security Unit and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). He was positively identified on airport CCTV footage taking the luggage.
Sanchez arrived on board an Asiana Airlines flight from Incheon, South Korea, on Christmas Eve.
Airport spokesman Jaime Alberto Melo said the arrest came after Koreans Jo Seungcheol, 18, and Cha Gunmin, 14, reported to their airline and a passenger assistance desk that their luggage was missing.
“Security and safety are our utmost consideration here at Clark airport,” Melo said. He added that the state-of-the-art CCTV equipment at the airport helped to quickly resolve the incident.
The Koreans are students at the SMEAG Global School, and arrived at Clark aboard a JinAir flight from Incheon on Christmas Eve.
Luggage found at hotel room
“Our CCTV footages determined the suspect as a male and bearded Caucasian with a black cap who picked up two black-coloured luggage at the conveyor area. Another CCTV angle was also able to capture the plate number of the suspect’s vehicle upon leaving the airport premises,” Melo said.
The suspect was traced to the Royal Apartelle in Angeles City and an airport security officer managed to convince the hotel manager to reveal the suspect’s room number.
After his arrest, Sanchez said that he purposely took the baggage from the conveyor because he “disliked Koreans”. It is unclear how he knew that the baggage belonged to Korean passengers.
The suspect is now detained at the CIDG station in Angeles City. He has said he is willing to compensate for all the missing items that were in the luggage.