Vishagan Vanangamudi

Rajinikanth’s son-in-law loses cabin baggage at Heathrow

Vishagan Vanangamudi

Vishagan told to activate tracker feature as CCTV footage isn’t available

The London Metropolitan Police have asked actor Rajinikanth’s son-in-law Vishagan Vanangamudi, who lost his baggage at Heathrow airport early this week, to activate the ‘Find my iPhone’ option to check the location of the missing device as the CCTV system at the airport was faulty.

Mr. Vishagan, executive director of Apex Laboratories, had travelled to London on a private visit with his wife Soundarya, when his cabin trolley bag containing his passport, an expensive watch, electronic gadgets, and foreign currency was stolen from the chauffeur lounge of Emirates at the airport, considered one of the world’s most secure airports. The London Metropolitan Police, who are investigating the theft, have said that though Emirates had a number of cameras in the lounge, the closed circuit television (CCTV) system was faulty and there was no recording on the day of the reported incident, September 1, to pursue the case. Even Heathrow airport had no cameras covering the area of theft.

Since the option of examining CCTV footage to pin down the suspect was ruled out, investigators requested Mr. Vishagan to activate the ‘Find my iPhone’ option to check the location of his missing Apple products. They sought to know the serial number of his Rolex watch that was in the stolen bag, sources close to Mr. Rajinikanth’s family told.

‘Traumatic experience’

A close relative of Mr. Vishagan, who preferred anonymity for his quote, said that the hand luggage containing valuables worth about ₹30 lakh was stolen when the couple was waiting for the car at Emirates’ chauffeur lounge. “We trust and believe in the safety and security arrangements at airports. Heathrow is considered one of the most secure airports in the world. If the cameras installed by Emirates in its lounge are faulty, it is clearly their responsibility to compensate the loss because the only available evidence to detect the case is lost. It is not the valuables or money but the emotional trauma that matters more…Vishagan had to go through tense moments hoping that the bag containing his passport and expensive wedding gift would be traced,” he said.

On their part, Emirates wrote to Mr. Vishagan apologising for the theft and said that public areas in international airport arrivals were known to be a target area for thieves and despite surveillance and vigilance by the local security authorities and airport employees, thefts occurred.

“All major international airports, including Heathrow, make regular announcements within the terminal building and our chauffeur drive lounge does have a signage present to remind passengers not to leave their personal belongings or valuables unattended at any time,” a passenger service representative of Emirates said in an email to the complainant.

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