A woman traveling from Kennedy Airport was arrested aboard a flight to Dubai on Sunday after she stole $5,600 in cash from a fellow traveler at a TSA screening checkpoint, Port Authority police said.
Nadira D. Mallik, 61, of Bangladesh, was tracked through surveillance video taken at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint in Terminal 4 and arrested in her seat in Row 47 aboard Emirates Flight E K 204 as it waited to make its scheduled departure, the Port Authority said Monday.
Police recovered $4,300 in U.S. currency from inside a Cheerios cereal box in her carry-on bag, the Port Authority said. Another $1,300 worth of Japanese yen was retrieved from a compartment inside the same carry-on bag, police said.
Port Authority spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said the victim, identified as a 60-year-old man from China, had placed the cash in the security screening bin at the checkpoint, as directed by authorities.
Pentangelo said Mallik was behind the victim on line — and that a review of security footage showed her taking the cash from the bin, then leaving the area. The incident took place around 10:20 a.m.
Authorities were able to trace Mallik through surveillance footage and find her aboard the Emirates flight, which was scheduled to depart at about 11:30 a.m. She told arresting officers she “wanted to give the money back,” Pentangelo said.
Mallik, who is from Khilgaon, a suburb of the major city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, was charged with grand larceny.
Arraignment details were not immediately available.
Police said the money was returned to the victim.