RGI Airport initiates steps to plug loopholes in security

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Several loopholes in the security at the RGI Airport were discussed in detail during a multi agency review meeting held on the airport premises during the last two days. The review meeting was held after DRI sleuths nabbed four gold smugglers including two GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) security wing employees recently .

On May 25, DRI sleuths arrested GHIAL security wing workers K Bhaskar Reddy and P Rami Naidu, who picked up 8 kg gold on the aerobridge from the carrier Shabbir Ju bair, who arrived from Dubai in an Emirates flight and handed the same to Mazhar Ali, the receiver from Gulbarga, at the airport parking lot. The arrest exposed the dangerous security loopholes at the airport as the accused GHIAL staff managed to take the gold out of the airport by passing the customs check area using the special access cards they have.

“At this rate, the GHIAL security staff can bring in and take out anything from the airport including narcotics or dangerous material like fire arms and explosives. So, it is a serious issue and the security concerns have to be addressed quickly,” a senior customs official said on condition of anonymity .

On Thursday and Friday , offi cials of GHIAL, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), Customs and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) sleuths attended the security review meeting. In the meeting, GHIAL representatives said that their security wing staff need access to all areas as they are the ones who bring out wheel chair passengers and also any passenger with medical emergencies. Customs officials then proposed that staff of various agencies who have passes can enter the airport premises from any entry point but the exit has to be compulsorily from the customs check area, which would effectively prevent the smuggling practices by the staff.

The RGI airport, operating from seven levels in the building, has several private workers who have access to the premises. In addition to the government staff, the workers of various shops, hospital, other commercial establishments operating from the seven levels have access to some sensitive areas like customs, immigration and baggage screening areas. “There are 15 elevators in the airport and once a worker of a commercial establishment gets into the elevator inside departure block after the se curity check, he or she can get down at any floor. There is a canteen where immigration staff works and people from all areas have access to it. We have proposed to regulate and reorganize elevator entries and exits for various floors,” said a CISF official.

The representatives of customs have also suggested blocking unnecessary exits and foolproof monitoring of the workers at the shops and the goods meant for those shops coming in and going out of the airport. Several of these suggestions are likely to come into implementation in a few days time.

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