Risks of using the overhead locker

Authorities are wising up to plane thieves who target their prey and put their bags in the same overhead locker. Picture: SuperJet International

Tom TowersThe Sun

AN EMIRATES passenger had $3.3 million worth of cash and luxury valuables stolen from an overhead locker en route from Dubai to Hong Kong.

Mustasa Saci, 39, had just landed when he discovered that his carry-on bag, which contained around $200,000 in cash as well as a Rolex and Patek Philippe watch, had gone.

The massive sum could constitute the biggest theft on a flight ever, The Sun reports.

Saci, a watch merchant from Turkey who was sitting in economy-class, informed airline staff that his bag was missing and called the police around 6am.

According to local media, the theft is one of many where criminals pose as passengers on longer flights to find their targets.

Some of these crafty criminals are flying in business class areas to target the wealthiest victims, the South China Morning Post reported.

Police are said to be treating the case as theft and an investigation is ongoing. No arrests have yet been made.

The man reported his belongings missing after arriving in Hong Kong on an Emirates flights from Dubai. Picture: Eric Salard

The man reported his belongings missing after arriving in Hong Kong on an Emirates flights from Dubai. Picture: Eric SalardSource:Flickr

In January, Hong Kong police urged aeroplane passengers to protect their belongings after holiday-makers were targeted on flights to the city.

A source told The Straits Times: “The criminals often posed as well-dressed travellers and preferred aisle seats.

“They scouted their prey before boarding and placed their own bags in the same overhead bins their targets used.”

At the time, thieves had stolen around $533,000 worth of items from travellers over the space of nine months.

In December, passenger Warren Becker said his bag was raided while he was asleep on a South African Airways flight from Johannesburg.

However, none of these efforts rivalled the latest haul.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

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