News

Canada/EU/Africa: 28 people arrested, large drug pipeline involving commercial aviation smashed.

The RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) unit announced Monday the successful end to an investigation into an international heroin trafficking ring. 28 individuals were arrested through a joint effort between the FSOC, the Vancouver Police and the Canada Border Services Agency, along with cooperation from South African Police Service and the Belgium Federal Police. According to authorities, the investigation began in June 2013 when the FSOC identified a number of Vancouver-based individuals involved with large imports of heroin...

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USA, New York: $600,000 of Cocaine and Heroin found concealed in JFK commercial airlines.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recovered more than 20 pounds of cocaine and heroin aboard two different planes that landed at JFK airport over the past few days.  Officials say about 12 pounds of heroin were found during a routine aircraft search of a flight arriving from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Friday.  More information available at this link: http://www.twcnews.com/nys/hudson-valley/news/2015/05/11/-600k-worth-of-drugs-found-on-two-different-planes-at-jfk.html Source: Time Warner / NY1 News

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Australia, Sydney: Drugs and terrorism threat, thousands of airport staff not security-checked, Ice drug link to Sydney Airport staff.

Thousands of airport staff are working without federal police or ASIO clearance, security experts have warned in the wake of a drug smuggler's claim that Sydney baggage handlers were part of his criminal network. Specifically, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Peter Gardner, a 26-year-old dual Australian-New Zealand citizen who could face execution in China after he was caught last year with 30 kilograms of the drug ice, has given evidence that his flight back to Sydney was scheduled to coincide...

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Taiwan, Taipei: Airport worker fired for attempted baggage theft.

A worker at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Services Company has been fired after he was caught attempting to steal from the luggage of passengers traveling on Emirates airlines, police have reported.  The worker, surnamed Liao, was in charge of unloading luggage. When Emirates flight no. EK366 arrived on the afternoon of Jan. 30, he sneaked into the aircraft's hold to try to look for valuables belonging to passengers but his actions were filmed by video cameras installed by the...

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India, IGI Airport: Drug inflow continues unabated at IGI Airport.

Authorities have made serizures of 100kg of drugs at IGI Airport and airport police officials have indicated there is a link between local drug cartels and airport staff. India Today reports that a custom official has said that many loaders working at the IGI airport live in the same areas where many in the drug business live and more often than not the smuggled drug from the air route reaches these areas with the assistance of airport staff.  Read more...

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USA: Fox News reports on widespread airport insecurity in the USA

A Fox News special report has uncovered multiple security breaches involving airport workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after confirming the TSA warning that the greatest threat to aviation security comes from 'insider threats'. Security breaches included public intoxication, baggage theft and narcotics offences. Missing SIDA access badges (which grant access to secure areas) and lack of background checks were also identified issues. More information (and video) is available at this link: http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/28973427/investigators-airport-insecurity#utm_sguid=153652,c24d5ce2-acdf-b3bc-caf8-399edacf52ed Source: Fox News

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Venezuela: 144 people detained for baggage theft at Simon Bolivar International Airport

A total of 144 people have been detained so far this year by the Venezuelan Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) for their alleged involvement in baggage theft and other offenses, including trafficking of narcotics, at the Simon Bolivar International Airport of Maiquetia, north-central Vargas state. The information was published in a press release by airport authorities.  More information available at this link - http://bit.ly/1GCJ2z5 and here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3060417/Drugs-busts-criminal-gangs-42-workers-arrested-stealing-luggage-just-four-months-Venezuela-s-airport-criminal-world.html Source:  El Univeral and Daily Mail

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Russia: Moscow Times reports Russian Baggage Handlers Detained for Stealing $3 Million.

Three former baggage handlers at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport have been arrested on suspicion of stealing $3.3 million in cash from a flight from Novosibirsk, the Interior Minstry said Friday. After conducting an investigation at Novosibirsk's Tolmachevo airport, police determined that the packages had left Siberia properly sealed, the Interior Ministry said in an online statement. The only place the theft could have occurred was therefore upon arrival at Domodedovo.  More information available here: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/news/article/russian-airport-employees-detained-for-replacing-3-million-cash-with-rubbish/519698.html Source:  Moscow Times.

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USA: Homeland Security reports 16,281 complaints in 2014 lead to 112 criminal convictions, including theft and narcotics.

US Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General reports 16,281 complaints of wrongdoing in 2014 lead to 524 investigations and 112 criminal convictions, including offences of theft and narcotics.  One example: a Transportation Security Administration supervisor in the US Virgin Islands who was actively assisting a drug smuggling organization to bypass security at an airport was sentenced to 87 months imprisonment and 24 months of supervised release. News article here: http://bit.ly/1CWT8Dd - Inspector General's full report here:  www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/TM/2015/OIGtm_JR_041515.pdf Source: HS Today...

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Canada: Transport Canada's audit detects problems with security clearances at airports, putting the public "at risk"

An internal audit by Transport Canada into air cargo and airports has detected problems with security clearances at Canadian airports.  While no specific consequences were mentioned in the audit, experts note that the problems clearly put the public "at risk".  The issues are prevalent throughout both public and private aviation sectors, where the government is responsible for making sure, for example, the people handling baggage on the tarmac, with access to flight ramps or the passenger security checks are properly...

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