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Man on plane charged with stealing $23,000 in cash from fellow passengers in one flight

A 52-year-old Chinese man named Zhang Xiuqiang has been charged with theft, accused of stealing over $23,000 from three fellow passengers during a budget flight from Vietnam to Singapore. 

The incident took place on a Scoot flight operated by Singapore Airlines on December 16, according to an airline spokesperson.

A passenger alerted our cabin crew to a suspected theft in the cabin and the Airport Police Division was subsequently activated,” the spokesperson stated.

“The involved passengers were escorted off the aircraft by airport authorities for further investigation, and the rest of our passengers disembarked as usual.

As per charge sheets read out in court, Zhang is accused of stealing from three different passengers.

He allegedly took 3 million Vietnamese dong ($123) from a passenger’s backpack, and 510 million Vietnamese dong ($20,950) and a 50 Singapore dollar note ($38) from another passenger’s black messenger bag.

He also allegedly took $1,000 and 930 Singapore dollars ($700) from an envelope found in a gray bag belonging to a third passenger.

Zhang is currently under police remand for further investigations. If found guilty of theft, he could potentially receive a jail sentence of up to three years, a fine, or both for each charge.

Scoot has declined to provide additional information about the case, but has advised both crew and passengers to stay alert while on board.

“Our operating crew is trained to stay vigilant and alert authorities of any suspicious behavior on board our flights,” the statement read. “We also encourage our customers to always keep their valuables secure.”

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