7 Arrested in L.A. Airport Baggage Scam

Los Angeles police have arrested two Northwest Airlines ticket agents and five other people on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy in a "cut-rate baggage forwarding" scheme said to have defrauded the airline of $1 million annually for the last three years.

Officer Tom Schaper said the ruse involved five people who would speak to Filipino tourists in Tagalog and offer to send their excess luggage to their destination at a rate 30% to 40% below that regularly charged by the airline.

Accomplices Used

The swindlers would collect the money in advance and then take the baggage to their ticket agent accomplices, who, for a percentage of the take, tagged the luggage through to its destination as though the regular fees had been paid, Schaper said.

Taken into custody Thursday after several months of undercover investigation involving Los Angeles International Airport and airline security officers, as well as police, were Lavi Quijano, 32; Oscar Esquerra, 34; Aksenio Torres, 33; Romeo Salvador, 38, and his brother, Ronald, 36, and ticket agents Kim David, 40, and Jo Bywng, 26.

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