Tanim-bala scam: Wheelchair-bound couple framed with planted bullets



An airport wheelchair pusher at Manila’s NAIA airport attempted to pull off the well-known ‘tanim-bala’ (planted bullet) scam on an elderly couple travelling to Los Angeles.


The attendant demanded 50,000 pesos from Salvacion and Esteban Corbista as they were about to board their Korean Air flight to California.

The couple obviously denied attempting to smuggle the live round of ammunition into the airport, but security still off-loaded their luggage and arrested the couple.

Initial reports stated that the round was from a .38 calibre gun, however it was later claimed to be from a .357 calibre weapon.


Sources are saying that the wheelchair attendant wore an airport uniform marked #78. So far the name of the attendant is not confirmed.

Despite its widespread notoriety as a money-making scam, it seems staff at the airport still feel sufficiently protected to continue pulling it off.

There has been no comment from the police as to why they suspect an elderly couple would seek to smuggle a single bullet from the Philippines to the USA.

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