Changi International Airport — the security service at changi international airport
April 3, 2017
To: Changi International Airport Management
First of all I would like you to know that Changi International Airport is my favorit airport – and I've been to quite a few – and that is part of the reason why I took time to write this complaint.
My mom (Nursiti Sitorus – Medan), my youngest sister (Olivia Merikani Butar Butar – Pekanbaru), and I (Fanny Mutiara Butar Butar – USA) arrived at Terminal 1 Changi International Airport on March 29th around 11 a.m. from the seaport after cruising with the Royal Caribbean International for 5 nights.
Since our 80-year-old mother has a hard time walking at a normal pace, we left her near the JetStar check-in area with our 4 luggage, 4 handbags and 1 backpack, while we went to Vivo City at Harbour Front for shopping.
When we got back around 4:30 p.m., mom told us that she was accused of stealing something from a young lady, probably Malay, in her early 20s, who was accompanied by a young man about the same age. Since we don't know their names, we'll just call the lady X and the man Y. Mom said that the event happened about an hour before our arrival. And this is how mom described it:
She was asleep when X tapped mom to wake her up. Then X accused mom of stealing her stuff. Mom invited X to check the bags herself but X hesitated and then left with Y.
Prior to that, X & Y sat not too far from mom before she finally fell asleep. I asked mom if she ever left the bags to go to the bathroom and she said “Yes”. Immediately I thought of the possibility that someone might have put something in our bags while mom was asleep or in the bathroom. So I went to the information desk to ask where to report about a security issue. The staff said that I have to check-in first because the security office is past the immigration check.
So we started packing the things that we bought from Vivo City. And as soon as we finished packing, two policemen by the names Ahmad Naqib and Wong Teng Tjong, followed by X & Y, approached us and said that they need to check our bags. We refused and asked them to check the CCTV if our mother did what was accused of her. But they insisted that they were doing what was necessary to clear the misunderstanding. So we finally gave up and allowed the two officers to go through all our belongings with X & Y watching from a distance. The officers did ask us to sit down while they went through our bags, but we wanted to make sure that we watched them closely while they were inspecting our stuff.
At the end, they found nothing. But we were already upset for the way they treated us just by the word of accusation of one person. We couldn't even get their names or photos except for the two officers. Instead we were asked to hand our passports to the policemen, which we refused to do. They did mention that our mom was the only person who was there the whole time since 11 a.m. seen on CCTV, and therefore she was a candidate for inspection. There was no word of apology from any party.
Based on the event written above, our complaints to the airport management are as following:
1. If our mom was seen on CCTV since 11 a.m., then for sure she also would have been seen whether or not she stole “the stuff” from X. And if she didn't – as proven at the end – why did the officers still insisted on doing a thorough check?
2. We were not given an official letter showing that the officers had the right to go through our bags.
3. We were not even given the information of what exactly is the thing that they accused our mom of stealing.
4. We were not given the chance to see the CCTV recording.
5. The two officers were obviously on the side of X based on her word alone and treated us unfairly.
Besides the complaints above, we also would like to suggest that a security office be located before the immigration check as well.
I herewith attach the following:
1. The photos of the two police officers.
2. The photos of X & Y.
3. The copy of my mom's & my sister's boarding pass.
4. The copy of my ticket.
Thank you for your kind attention. I hope Changi management will solve this issue in order to improve the airport performance. And we look forward to your response.
Consulate of the Republic of Singapore in Medan