Rodel Vinluan, a Qatar Airways CCTV and access control security agent, has been honored for helping to capture seven men suspected of stealing $82,500 (QR301,125) from a Turkish passenger at Doha International Airport in January.
Earlier this week, the 38 year-old Filipino expat received a certificate of appreciation from the ambassador of the Philippine embassy in Qatar.
The event took place last Sunday, on Migrant Workers Day, a day that provides recognition to all Filipinos working overseas.
Speaking to Doha News, Leny Cleofas, an embassy welfare officer, said:
“We wanted to reward Rodel for his outstanding performance. As Filipinos, we are very proud of what he did, and he is not the first Filipino to rightfully return lost money to its owner.”
Cleofas was referring to an incident last November, in which a 24-year-old Filipino expat turned in a lost bag containing QR50,000 in cash, a check for QR200,000 and an iPhone.
Vinluan has also received recognition from Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar al-Baker, who in a letter wrote:
“You provided excellent service to a passenger in need and demonstrated the value that an effective security team provides at Doha International Airport.”
Details of incident
The incident took place during Vinluan’s night shift at the Doha International Airport on Jan. 18, 2014. A Turkish passenger claimed to have left his briefcase which contained $82,500, in the airport’s restroom.
After he reported that the case had gone missing, Vinluan said he and his colleagues spent hours looking through CCTV footage to find that a Malaysian man had taken the briefcase and then divided the money between himself and six others.
The passengers had been preparing to board their flight to Italy when they were apprehended by authorities.
Speaking to Doha News, Vinluan recalled the event:
“It was one of the biggest cases we have seen take place. My colleagues and I were on duty for 16 hours that night, collaborating with the Ministry of Interior to try and get to the bottom of the incident.”
The case is now going through Qatar’s court system, and those involved are still being investigated, including the Turkish passenger himself.
The requirement to declare currency while traveling during varies by country. According to the IATA’s website, Qatar’s customs laws do not require passengers to declare money when passing through the airport.
However, the Turkish passenger failed to declare to authorities in his home country that he was carrying more than $5,000 when he left.
DIA was an international hub for transiting passengers, and with the opening of Hamad International Airport on April 30, the number of transit passengers has been steadily increasing.
To ensure security, HIA has set up a new camera system, according to Vinluan.
“We have been spending almost all of our time studying where to put each and every camera. We’ve put a lot of investigation into ensuring that by the end of it all, the whole airport has camera coverage,” he added.
Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Qatar customs declarations do not require currency to be declared. However, other countries have different rules. Additionally, the nationality of one of the arrested people has been removed the Embassy of Malaysia in Qatar and the Capitol Police Station have confirmed that no Malaysians were jailed following the incident.
Well done Rodel. Excellent work.
QR100,000 upwards (around $2,740)
umm what? 100 thousand QR is a lot more that two thousand seven hundred and forty dollars
also who the hell carries that much in cash and forgets it in a freaking bathroom?
That’s what I was thinking! Only thing I can come up with was he’s doing something illegal and was so scared he forgot it…
Well done to the staffer for his good work. But 80 thousand dollars in cash? Traveling with that much undeclared currency anywhere in the world would get you a nice, long interrogation for suspicion of all sorts of trafficking / money laundering offenses.
“The rest of those involved are still being investigated, including the Turkish passenger himself.”
Missed that little tidbit. He must have been either very ignorant to report that much undeclared cash or very afraid of whomever he was running it for.
It all seemed like a perfect holiday for this gentlemen to see the sights in Italy until they came across this temptation in the form of a bag left behind and this guys must have thought that they won the lotto to have some extra fun on their sight seeing trip to Italy. Its strange what a little extra cash can do to perfectly honest and straight forward people
if the thieves are “perfectly honest and straight forward people” as u put it Mr johnny, they will not go for the bag but instead alert security on the situation. So, my friend Johnny, the Malaysian guys who stole the money are thieves. They deserve to go prison in Qatar, deported and still go to prison in Malaysia for denting the image of their fatherland.
There was no Malaysian involved. Please read the Note area.
LOL….Mr. Win, you should read the Note area not me. “After he reported that the case had gone missing, Vinluan said he and his colleagues spent hours looking through CCTV footage to find that a MALAYSIAN man had taken the briefcase and then divided the money between himself and six others”. He is a THIEF…BIG THIEF.
If u are a Malaysian, you don’t have to be embarrass. There are thieves in every country. This guy being a Malaysian does not mean all Malaysians are thieves. There are lot of good intelligent brilliant people from Malaysia in Qatar. Two of my friends, one Egyptian and a Nigerian married Malaysians and they are very happy together with kids living in peace and harmony.
I understand what you mean and that is the reason maybe Doha News should remove the sentence which says ‘Malaysian man …. ‘ if no Malaysians were involved. If there was a Malaysian or Malaysians involved…I have no problems and they deserve to face the law.
The Malaysian Embassy I believe is in communication with Doha News to clarify if Malaysian or Malaysians are involved.
Just Reread the article, you are right about the note but body of the story says otherwise. Thanks.
Does this mean that the restrooms have cameras in them?…
Kudos to Rodel!!!
Fantastic job to this man!
The person was just doing his job to look into CCTV footage
good job filipino,..
Good job Rodel. Doha News … were there Malaysian or Malaysians involved ? If not…please re-edit the article. A note is not sufficient.
Something is not clear, so people can go out from Doha with 82,500 USD in the had-baggage with no restictions? is this permitted?