An outrageous attempt by an air passenger to steal a large sum of money from a fellow traveller ended with the suspect being stripped naked and the money recovered.
The extraordinary story surfaced in Nigerian media. The alleged thief and his victim were travelling on a morning flight on Aero, a scheduled airline operating local and regional routes in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana and Togo, NigerianReviews.com reported.
A flight attendant reportedly sighted the Nigerian removing the Austrian’s bag as if he were changing his seat.
The suspect took the bag to his own seat and stole a sum of NGN 150,000 and EUR 500 belonging to the Austrian, the outlet reported.
The thief was reportedly apprehended while trying to return the bag, minus the money, to its original place. Some reports said the Austrian’s bag was in the cockpit.
A female flight attendant said: “While trying to return the bag I asked him [the suspect] to sit down. But he became uncomfortable before the plane landed and the white man [the Austrian] raised alarm that he couldn’t find his bag.”
As soon as the plane landed at Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, passengers acted. The suspect was quickly stripped naked and the money was found on his person, along with a stash of marijuana, according to NigerianReviews.com.
The suspect told other angry passengers he had taken the bag by mistake, thinking it was his own.
Seeing his story wasn’t being believed, he then said he had stolen the money to take care of his ailing mother, reports said.
The case is likely to come before court shortly.
Written by Peter Needham