Drug trafficking: FAAN talks tough on baggage tagging at airports

Posted by Sade Williams

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said that it will take appropriate action against any staff of the agency found to be conniving with drug traffickers in baggage tagging across airports in the country.

General Manager public affairs FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, who disclosed this to aviation journalists in Lagos, said the report of the special task force set up by the managing director of FAAN to investigate the involvement of FAAN staff , especially in the last drug deal at Kano airport, will determine the punishment to be meted out based on their involvement.

Yakubu said the Agency was disturbed over allegation against some staff of the agency of their involvement at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in the Zanab Aliyu issue, adding that the task force will  submit its report soon. 

She explained that the Kano airport incident has awaken FAAN to tighten security which has led to the agency evolving means of curtailing future occurrence. 

According to Mrs. Yakubu, FAAN has moved the operation of unaccompanied luggage to the newly created cargo section for proper tagging while comprehensive profiling of background passengers and baggage handlers have commenced. 

She disclosed that six sniffer dogs have also been deployed to the Kano airport, while more metal walk through screening detectors from entrance to terminal before boarding the aircraft have been installed.

She explained that the action was to ensure that no passenger goes through the airport with drug adding that the agency has intensified surveillance on baggage handlings under aviation security supervision.

Mrs Yakubu explained that there has been an improvement of Close Circuit Television at the single interface desk to capture the area adding that FAAN was working hand in hand with National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA).

The FAAN image maker further explained that it was the responsibility of the NDLEA to install drug detecting machines at airports not FAAN as stated by some individuals.

According to her, the Federal government has made recommendation for additional sophisticated scanners to be brought in to the country to complement the existing ones, stressing that it will be installed as soon as it arrives and drugs will be detected. 

She advised passengers not to assist anyone to carry any form of bag at the airport and to get to the airport two hours before boarding to avoid unnecessary pressure .

While saying that all agencies were working together for the good of the country, she expressed delight that the Ease of Doing Business has assisted in decongesting the terminal and brought sanity.

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