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Published on Monday, October 8, 2018

Aircraft searched after reports of mid-air thefts while passengers slept

Passengers on board a South African Airways flight from Johannesburg claimed valuables were stolen from overhead compartments mid-flight while they were sleeping, leading cabin crew to call police on landing.

They alleged other passengers had taken cash and jewellery as they slept on the flight to Hong Kong.

SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali confirmed that an incident happened on flight SA 286 last week.

He told South Africa's Times newspaper that, during the flight‚ 'two passengers approached our crew complaining that they had lost their valuables'.

"One of the complainants was able to point out a few passengers who had behaved in a suspicious manner in the cabin and who were seen opening some overhead compartments while other passengers were sleeping."

He added that, on landing, the crew alerted the authorities in Hong Kong and police boarded the aircraft.

"The rest of the passengers disembarked and suspects identified were ordered to remain in the aircraft and were searched by the police in Hong Kong."

Nothing was found on the suspects, so they were released. He added the items were later found by cleaning staff and returned to the owners.

He added SAA passengers found to have stolen items would be banned from flying with the airline.

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