SINGAPORE - As a Certis Cisco aviation security officer, he was tasked to screen passengers at Changi Airport.
But Esyaran Mogan, now 29, stole from two women while searching through their belongings, and he was jailed for eight months on Wednesday (Jan 11) after pleading guilty to two counts of theft.
Esyaran, a Malaysian, was working as a manual bag searcher at the airport's Terminal 1 Departure/Transit Gate Hold Room D48 on July 24 last year when he targeted his first victim , Ms Fu Qin at around 11.30pm.
Ms Fu, who was travelling to Beijing on Air China flight CA970, had placed her handbag in an X-ray machine and it detected a pair of scissors among her belongings.
Esyaran manually searched her handbag and spotted a gold chain worth about $1,164 inside.
While carrying the bag to the front loader of the X-ray machine, he took the chain and slipped it into the right pocket of his pants.
As he searched the bag a second time, he spotted $350 in cash.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Nicholas Wuan said: "Tempted, he stole the $350, again concealing the cash in his glove and placing it in his right pants pocket."
He returned the bag to Ms Fu and she discovered her losses only while she was in a taxi in Beijing.
Esyaran struck again when he was working at the airport's Terminal 1 Departure/Transit Gate Hold Room D34 a week later.
This time, he stole $106 in cash from an unidentified woman after she showed him the contents of her pouch.
After she was cleared, the woman, who was travelling on Cathay Pacific flight CX650 to Hong Kong, approached Esyaran several minutes later and asked him if he had found any money.
DPP Wuan said: "The accused said he had not and pretended to search the area, before informing (her) that the cash could not be found.
"Later, the accused was informed by an airline staff member that (she) intended to make a complaint. This caused the accused to worry that he would be discovered."
Esyaran then tossed the cash under the X-ray machine and told his colleagues that he "found" the money.
His offences came to light after Certis Cisco Security reviewed CCTV footage of the area and conducted internal investigations.
For each count of theft, he could have been jailed up to three years and fined.