Changi airport staff may face 1 year jail each for 286 separate cases of deliberately swapping luggage tags


Hundreds of travelers’ bags at Changi Airport were sent to the wrong destination after an airport baggage handler, Tay Boon Keh, deliberately swapped the luggage tags of a total of hundreds of bags almost every day for three months from November 2016.

An employee of industrial equipment supplier Lian Cheng Contracting, a Changi Airport Group subcontractor, Tay was charged with 286 counts of mischief on Tuesday. Tay represented himself in court and plans to plead guilty when he returns to court on 17 Oct.

Although no motive was given for Tay’s acts, it was revealed that his shenanigans began when he first switched the tag of a Penang-bound bag with another bag tag on 8 Nov 2016. Tay subsequently showed his handiwork on numerous other bags, affecting travelers flying on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Lufthansa.

A representative from Changi Airport told reporters that this was an isolated case of mischief, and that aviation security has not been seriously breached. The group has also increased CCTV surveillance and patrols in baggage handling areas.

Tay could face up to a year in jail and/or a fine for each of the 286 charges if convicted.


  1. Wahhhh, <1year each for 286 separate cases> = 286 years; even Kong Hee & CHC pastors also didn’t get 286 years TOTAL. This prove a saying if u wanna commit a crime, better make the crime a real big one.

  2. As I said the airport is a joke for travellers facility. Singapore is just a show….
    What you call smart nation…high tech….its a disgrace…waste of billions of dollars

    • This showcases the problem of obsession with maximising profits only. You get this when ethics and moral education are thrown out window. Time to reflect.

  3. Poor old man at this age he need to work in our 1st world,,, if he was in other 1st world country he might be travelling and enjoying his old age… I dont blame him its the stress level at this age..

  4. The management only realised after 286 cases? How efficient is that? Everyone just bo chup?? How distress it is when you travel and realised the most important things you bring with you is gone?

  5. The moment 10 different luggages being misplaced differently should have already alert the airport management and review what went wrong.
    Why took them 286 luggages to realized that?

    • Hundreds of flights and thousands of bags moving every day. There is a tolerance level for number of bags sent to wrong destination. With him only changing 1 bag a day, it’s actually impressive that they manage to find out at all

    • Well, they managed to trace back the 1st occurance on Nov 2016, which mean this thing isn’t hard to trace if there are already repeated cases happened, especially in this era where communication s are available at all time for feedback from all airlines about passengers missing luggages.
      Question is, did he admit he have done all these 286 cases or airport terminal manage to dig out one by one? If it is latter, lacking of cctv in certain areas how they know it is him?
      10 working shift on different luaggage cases should already pin out what is the problem and find the culprit.

    • Dun be surprised, many sup and higher up levels are complacent comfort-zoners. Dun wanna lift a finger but juz waiting for end of month big paychecks. Actual happenings in my previous workplace. Places, not just a standalone phenomenon in one place..

    • Yes, that’s true. But i wonder if they deliberately let the elder worker make more mischief mistakes(accumulated to 286) before decided to hold him guilty.
      When a staff make mistake, it is always the supervisory or management level to found out before it goes deeper. I am not siding the uncle, but feels that they are accounting every mistakes to him in order to clear their reputations.

  6. That goes to show he has an issue with the management. Why would he want to do such a thing? There must be a reason. And to find it out after 286 times something is wrong with the management.

  7. Tay Boon Keh must be very stress can’t collect his retirement CPF , pm lhl tactics old also must work until you die so the pap ministers able to draw their millions dollar salary

  8. He is no ordinary . Must listen to his side of the story first. There is something amiss here. Why would someone who has been a diligent worker all these years went awry in his actions? He did the misact deliberately, which means he was seeking attention for something.

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