Airport authorities arrested a female passenger caught with a bullet of a .45 caliber pistol while she was about to board a flight for Macau at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.
The Aviation Security Group placed Gina Maliwat, 34, under arrest after they discovered the bullet inside her brown bag while passing through the x-ray machine last Saturday.
Personnel from the Office for Transportation Security took pictures of the x-ray monitor that showed the image of the bullet to avoid suspicion of “bullet planting” by OTS.
Since November, airport authorities have arrested at least 30 passengers with bullets in their bags at Naia Terminals 1, 2 and 3 amid the controversy over the alleged bullet-planting scheme involving some erring personnel.
Avsegroup public information officer Chief Insp. Samuel Hojilla said they continue to apprehend people despite the installation of disposal booths or cubicles serving as passengers’ luggage checking station before they enter security screening checkpoints.
The cubicle dubbed as the “last look booth” would help passengers dispose of items the airport authorities prohibit such as gun, bullets, knife and other deadly weapons.
Last month, Avsegroup personnel found a caliber .38 bullet inside the backpack of 20-year-old Chinese national Yueqiang Xu at the Naia Terminal 1. The foreigner was placed under police custody but was released later after ballistics test result showed that the bullet found in his posession was not live and unfired.
The alleged bullet-planting scheme prompted Police Director General Ricardo Marquez to order a lifestyle check on airport policemen.
Marquez said a special team was also studying documents regarding the bullets confiscated by both the OTS and Avsegroup personnel.
President Benigno Aquino III had ordered the PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Transportation and Communications to conduct an investigation of the scheme.