A passenger flying business class was hauled off a Dragonair flight by police at Hong Kong airport after allegedly being caught rifling through the luggage of fellow fliers.

The 42-year-old, from mainland China, was arrested as soon as the plane touched down at around 7am on Thursday, according to Chinese-language newspaper The Sun.

Photo: Luke Lai.

The cabin crew had called police after a flight attendant saw the man, surnamed Chen, allegedly going through other passengers’ luggage at around 5am.

Two passengers told the police they had lost US$1,000 and over HK$7,000 respectively. Officers confiscated other property from Chen, including a laptop and mobile phone.

Chen boarded flight KA191 from Kathmandu to Hong Kong, when the plane stopped at Dhaka in transit. The flight was shared by Dragonair and Cathay Pacific. Chen was carrying a Cathay boarding pass, The Sun said.

Money and property confiscated from the suspect.

On the same day, another man was arrested on flight KA603 for allegedly stealing RMB7,000 from a fellow passenger who fell asleep.

The 41-year-old suspect, also from mainland China, was spotted by two passengers when he attempted to steal for the second time, according to Oriental Daily.

The flight from Xiamen to Hong Kong, was also shared by Dragonair and Cathay.

Airport police said they had received 36 reports of stealing on flights so far this year. Among the suspects, 17 were from mainland China.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.