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Friday, June 30, 2017

Outsmart criminals, never write your address on luggage tags

Aviation expert says travellers can become unwitting drug mules as pedlars can stash goods in their bags and later go to their homes to collect the items.
Harridon-Suffian-luggagePETALING JAYA: An aviation expert has warned travellers not to write their address on luggage tags as this could give opportunities to criminals to secretly stash drugs or stolen items in the bags and later go to their homes to claim them.
Captain Mohd Harridon Suffian said the US Department of State had advised its citizens not to reveal information such as their home address or landline numbers as this could lead to them being stalked.
“Various forms of criminal activities could arise from one’s address being on the luggage. Landlines can be searched to reveal one’s address.
“This is in contrast to mobile numbers which are much more tedious to detect information from,” he told FMT.
He was responding to a WhatsApp message being circulated among groups cautioning travellers not to include their home address on their luggage tags. It warned that drug pedlars and other criminals could easily stash their goods in the bags.unnamed (1)
“If you clear immigration, they will go to your house. If you fail immigration check, (then) say goodbye to freedom as you will be sitting behind bars,” the message said.
In Malaysia, drug trafficking is a capital offence.
In a recent case in 2016, a Vietnamese woman escaped the gallows after the Federal Court overturned the death sentence imposed on her by the Court of Appeal for drug trafficking.
Klong K’Djoanh was instead told to serve the 18-year jail sentence previously handed down by the High Court.
She was charged with trafficking 2,249g of methamphetamine but maintained her innocence, claiming the drugs were planted in her bag.
The message suggested that instead of labelling their luggage with a home address, travellers could use their contact number and email address.
It said airlines could then call or email travellers if their luggage went missing.
The message also advised travellers against leaving boarding passes in plane seat pockets as these bear the passengers’ full name and other details which could be stolen.
Harridon said boarding passes which contain QR codes are a potential goldmine for information such as the passenger’s address.
“Due to that, it is best to dispose of the boarding pass appropriately,” he added. -FMT

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