Sources said that immediately the aircraft took off from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, and attained cruising altitude, the passenger stood up and pretended to be looking for missing items in the overhead cabin, but his hand reached for a co-passenger’s bag and he removed N200,000 and hid in his pocket.
But another passenger who monitored the theft alerted a cabin crew and the business class thief was arrested and handed over to the police after landing at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
Although the identity of the suspect has not been disclosed, sources said that the passenger sat on seat 3C on Arik Air flight W3 162 ABV-LO.
The Director of Security at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Sir Wendel Ogunedo, confirmed the incident.
He said the matter has been handed over to the police.
Air fares more than doubled last year in Nigeria with many passengers unable to afford them.
Flight capacity on business class has even dwindled further with fewer people still patronising it.
Business class is distinguished from other travel classes by the quality of seating, food, drinks, ground service and other amenities.