MANILA, Philippines – ‘Tanim-bala’ has indeed earned international notoriety.
This was after a Japanese television resorted to warning its viewers how a traveler at the Philippine airports could possibly fall victim to the modus that has landed the country in international headlines.
In the more than 3-minute video posted on Facebook by one Shinjoy Noisap Martinez and shared by Ikwento Mo Kay Delio, a segment was dedicated to the short demonstration of how flyers are ‘caught’ with a bullet inside their luggage.
Even without understanding the language spoken, the clip insinuates that the racket is aimed at extorting money from the potential victims.
In the clip, the comic skit showed a uniformed man representing an airport personnel inspecting a traveler’s luggage that has gone through the scanning machine.
After rummaging through the items inside, the man in uniform suddenly produced a bullet out of his hand.
He then acted as if accusing the baggage owner of carrying the illegal item, during which the owner struggled to explain that the bullet found does not belong to him.
Later on, the airport personnel gestured towards the owner to just shut up, before extending his hand as if asking for money.
The host then proceeded to explain how the ‘victim’ could possibly end up if he or she refuses to pay, most likely by facing arrest and landing behind bars.
The uproar over ‘tanim-bala’ at NAIA has cost the country huge embarrassment before the international community. Just recently the modus was also featured at BBC.
At least one Japanese national, 33-year-old Kazunobu Sakamoto, has allegedly fallen victim to the extortion racket.
He was arrested at NAIA after airport authorities found 2 bullets inside the breast pocket of his long-sleeved shirt tucked inside his bag.