Airport Security Officer Caught Stealing From Passenger, Stuffs $300 In Her Mouth

A security screener at the Manila airport this month was caught on camera stealing $300 from a departing passenger whose bag she was inspecting. To hide the evidence, she stuffs the money in her mouth.

CCTV footage captured security screening officer (SSO) Irency Morados turning away from another passenger and discreetly placing something into her waist area.

A report by airport authorities detailed that X-ray operator Regino Allen Pollante handed a bottle of water to Morados, who appeared to be “edgy and restless,” in an act of seeming “connivance,” according to Manila Bulletin.

She is then seen attempting to swallow the stolen bills, even as her supervisor, Abraham de Luna, “was seemingly communicating with her,” the report noted.

The screener has been “suspended” pending an investigation. No word though whether or not this experience will qualify her to work for TSA in Miami.

I remember my first time departing from the Manila airport, where I had to pay a departure fee. It was collected by one person who gave me a ticket that I had to hand to the staffer a few feet in front of them. The whole procedure with the second employee was all to make sure that the first employee didn’t steal the money. Every passenger received a ticket, without it they couldn’t pass. And every ticket got reconciled with the cash at the end of each shift. There were twice the staff needed for the task in order to prevent embezzlement.

Meanwhile, San Francisco District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston was heard mumbling that we need a massive campaign, just like when we got people to wear seatbelts in cars, pounding in the message in every way possible: do not bring cash with you to the airport. That way we can reduce the chances that security officials will steal it.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The TSA Agent’s defense? She claims she was eating chocolate, prove I wasn’t!

    It’s NOT more Fun in the Philippines. Manila is the worst airport for transiting passengers, regardless!

  2. Pretty sad, but the “two step” authentication for money is also a good idea. My wife is an accountant and she occasionally points out news articles where small organizations are stiffed by one person who handles both the money and writes the checks. Little county and town governments, churches, clubs, etc. are at risk when no one else is involved in cash flow or regularly audits the books. The temptation to pocket money coming through can be just too great. It always seems to be the same story with the victims surprised that somebody they trusted was doing this; verification is always called for.

  3. Sometimes you all but have to bring cash (if you’re going to Cuba or Uzbekistan, for instance). But I would never send my wallet through a scanner without its being in a locked bag.

  4. My first time on the Beijing subway (1995) I paid the equivalent of a few cents for a flimsy ticket that was collected and torn a couple of meters later. It seemed like an unnecessary step but now I get it.

  5. How many rights of ordinary people need to be trampled on to preserve the rights of the thieves? Better to permanently get rid of her.

  6. It’s notable that you pointed to S.F. Board of Supervisors member Preston (it’s only self-avowed Socialist), as an example of someone in a position of leadership victim-blaming people for exercising everyday freedoms. Preston is known lately for enthusiastically advocating that city to add affordable housing, but he has repeatedly voted down popular large housing project plans in his own area that were opposed by business, without specific explanation.

  7. I had a strange incident when coming back into the US from a trip to Russia. When going through TSA the agent insisted on looking in the neck pouch I had $2400 in C notes in that I didn’t need in Russia. I was also going through the scanner at the same time but could have easily been distracted enough for a little thievery. I kept my eyes bolted to the agent until the case was returned with no incident.

  8. I have personally seen a screening agent turn a passenger around to check a passengers body while her “partner in crime” stole jewellery out of that passengers bag from the xray belt. It was also at Manila Airport. It is more common than you think.

  9. I have watched this footage multiple times. You cannot honestly tell what she is putting in her mouth why did everyone assume it was cash? She said it was chocolate. She was being secretive because they are not allowed to eat while on Station. I say innocent until proven guilty

  10. @CMorgan, I say you’re blind. Watch the video in full screen on YouTube. It’s clearly not chocolate, or candy. GUILTY

  11. So Fred Kruger is now the police, jury and judge all rolled into one convenient package.

    Fred I say you are jumping to conclusions. Let the real investigation reveal the facts not the world according to Fred

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