An organization of Filipinos living and working abroad has some tips on how to avoid getting victimized by the so-called "laglag bala" extortion racket allegedly being perpetrated by some airport personnel.
The scheme involved the discreet planting of bullets by unscrupulous airport personnel to airline passengers' bags. When the passenger got arrested, they would be asked to fork over money in exchange for their freedom.
In a Facebook post, the Philippine Expats/OFW Blog Awards gave four tips on what to do when an airport personnel accused a traveller of having a bullet in his or her luggage.
1. Don't agree to have your baggage opened. Ask for the airport police or a relative who can immediately call a lawyer for you. Don't also agree when airport personnel ask you to open the luggage yourself.
2. When airport police are present, ask them to open the bag and retrieve the bullet. If the bullet found in the luggage is not really yours, it won't have your fingerprint.
3. After the bullet is retrieved by authorities, ask them to do a fingerprint test.
4. If the result shows that no traces of your fingerprints were found in the bullet then you can file a case against the airport personnel including damages for lost time and inconvenience.
The illegal scheme made the headlines recently after several victims have come out, including a 56-year-old Filipino domestic worker who has been working in Hong Kong for close to 20 years. —Andrei Medina/KBK, GMA News