Honolulu Airport bribery probe nets 3 guilty pleas
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three Honolulu Airport private security workers pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft, but will likely avoid jail time.
Ranie Ilagan, Ruben Alonzo and Gay Gatchalian, who are all employed by private security firm Securitas, face up to four years of probation and will pay $2,840 in restitution.
"In this case, the defendants while working as security for Securitas were soliciting bribes from taxi and shuttle drivers in exchange for allowing them to circumvent the rules and regulations," said U.S. deputy Attorney General Albert Cook.
The three were initially indicted for bribery, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The case against a fourth security guard is pending.
The charges stem from an 18-month undercover investigation conducted by the FBI -- and first reported on Hawaii News Now -- where confidential informants video recorded the bribes.
"I made payments, took recording and, I made a lot of payments," said one of the informants.
The drivers said that they also complained about the mistreatment to airport management but nothing changed.
Those that didn't make payments said they were harassed by the guards.
"I have been followed, harassed, mistreated by some of these plainclothes officers," said another driver.
As part of the deal, all three must resign from Securitas and not work at the airport during their probation.
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