Airport security is generally quite good at spotting any unusual items in people’s luggage. But despite baggage checking at airport being such a high standard, parents still need to be wary of strangers offloading or sneaking illegal items into your possession without them knowing. Thanks to one Malaysian mother’s sharp observations, she stopped her child from becoming a potential drug mule!
Baggage checking at airport prevented a child from being a victim of drug trafficking
Baggage checking at airport is necessary to make sure no unusual items were sneaked in to your luggage | Image source: KLIA2
Latifah Mohamad warned other parents and Facebook users to be extra cautious when travelling during this busy holiday period. In her recent post, she shared her recent experience at KLIA2 where she was waiting for her flight with her daughter in the departure hall. Her child had wandered off only a few metres ahead of Latifah. But even with this small gap and opportunity, a lady in her thirties approached the child and began talking to her.
“She said she needed some help and asked my daughter whether she could help her carry a paper bag containing two big packets of chocolate malt drink inside. The woman told my daughter that she was buying it back for her children who are in Indonesia and she was going back there,” she allegedly claims.
Her daughter obliged because the lady, who seemed to be Indonesian, was friendly and convincing. The woman also explained to Latifah’s daughter that her carry-on luggage was already exceeding the 7kg weight limit, which is why she couldn’t carry it herself.
When Latifah caught up to her daughter and asked what was going on, the woman allegedly explained that she needed help bringing the Milo packets onto the flight. But thanks to her astute observations and baggage checking at airport, the mother clocked onto the possible scam.
“However, when I looked around, I did not see her carrying any other bags other than the paper bag that she was trying to pass to my daughter,” she explained.
At this point, the mother allegedly told this anonymous woman, “You have two choices, either you just pay for the extra weight or throw away the ‘chocolate malt’.”
She then pulled her daughter away and left this woman to her own devious devices.
How to protect your children from being tricked
Image source: Shutterstock
Because baggage checking at airport picks up most illegal substances, tricksters resort to more devious methods to get their packages across borders. Latifah also shares an incident where her friend was not so lucky.
Her friend had to nip into the toilet KLIA. The friend’s daughter was waiting for her, and a lady became friendly with the child, handing her a soft toy. However, the lady conveniently “forgot” about the toy, and it wasn’t until passing immigration and customs did they discover that the toy contained drugs. After being interrogated for hours, the friend was charged for drug possession. She was able to settle the case by paying a hefty fine, but if she had not she would have succumbed to the death penalty!
People who pretend to be kind to children with an ulterior motive may intend to traffic children, in addition to using them as unknowing drug mules. While we might warn our children to stay away from strangers and not talk to them, it can be hard if these strangers appear “nice”. As a child, how do they tell the difference between a “good” and a “bad” stranger? Here are some common scenarios where a “bad” stranger might try to gain your child’s innocent trust to do the wrong thing.
1. The stranger may pretend to be from the Police
The child should ask for the Police Officer’s Warrant Card to verify his identity before obeying his instructions.
2. The stranger may ask for the child’s help
The stranger could ask for directions or pretend to need help with carrying his groceries. Children should be suspicious of any stranger who asks for their help.
Truth is, when adults really need help, they usually turn to other adults and not kids.
3. The stranger tries to bribe the child with gifts and promises
It could be a promise to buy ice cream. Or it could be toys (like in this case) or other gifts.
A person with dubious intentions usually resorts to such methods to convince the child that he is a friend and a good person. His/her hidden agenda might be to persuade the child to go somewhere alone with him.
4. “Your mummy is in hospital, come with me”
One of the most commonly cooked up stories is about an emergency at home. An imposter-abductor might claim that one of the parents has met with an accident and the child needs to go to the hospital with him.
Or it could be “your mummy sent me to pick you up.” Small children should be taught to never believe such lies.
Some parents teach their kids an “emergency password”, which they can use in case they really need to pass a message to their children.
So if a stranger accosts them with such stories, the kids can ask for the “password”. If the person does not know it, the child should get away from him as soon as possible.
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