HONG KONG?Think twice about taking ?souvenirs? from airplanes, especially on international flights.
A judge here Wednesday fined two Filipinos HK$2,000 (P10,700) each for taking with them life jackets from their Cathay Pacific flight from Dubai.
Tsuen Wan Principal Magistrate Andrew Ma imposed the fines on Edwin S. Antolin, 52, and Crisanto R. Ramos, 29, after they pleaded guilty to the charge of theft. The life jackets cost only HK$400 each.
?Do you know each other?? asked the judge, who got curious why the two would take life jackets from their flight. He apparently did not know that many Filipinos had a proclivity of taking with them ?souvenirs? from hotels, airplanes and other places they visited.
Both Filipinos denied knowing each other. They were seated on different rows when they arrived here at around 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday for a connecting flight to Manila.
Ramos occupied Seat No. 35B while Antolin was in No. 47B, but they apparently had the same urge to take the life jackets under their seats.
Antolin put the jacket in his blue traveling bag, while Ramos hid his in a red shopping bag. They did not foresee that they would be arrested and charged in court for taking ?souvenirs.?
When they got to the passenger terminal building of the Chek Lap Kok International Airport, their belongings had to go through an X-ray machine before they take their connecting flight.
Airport security officers later told investigators that they noticed ?suspicious objects? in the Filipinos? bags.
The passengers were searched and the life jackets were found. Ramos supposedly even wrapped his jacket with a blanket.
The security officers reported the incident to the police and Cathay Pacific staff members, who confirmed that the life jackets were missing.
During police interrogation, the Filipinos denied any wrongdoing but they later pleaded guilty upon the advice of lawyers after they were brought to court.