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Check in baggage at your own risk at Delhi airport

delhi Updated: Apr 07, 2013 01:40 IST
Faizan Haider
Faizan Haider
Hindustan Times
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The baggage handling area of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is also emerging as a theft point. And guess who the lifters are? The airport’s own employees.

Recently, three employees of a private company -- which deploys its staff in the baggage-handling area — were caught with 10 stolen mobile phones and three cameras. The incident exposed loopholes in the airport security as the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) claims their personnel are not deployed in that area.

“The Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has defined the role of every agency working at the airport. It clearly states that the hi-tech inline baggage system is the responsibility of the company that runs the system. The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) must come up with a plan to ensure passengers do not have to suffer,” said a CISF official, requesting anonymity.

The number of airport employees facing action for theft is growing at an alarming rate. In the past three years, 20 staffers have been terminated, 18 of them in 2012. Passengers are at the receiving end as most of the time they come to know about the thefts after reaching their destinations.

“On a complaint by Air India, CCTV footage was analysed and it was found that the movement of one of the contract workers in the baggage area was suspicious. A complaint was lodged with police and the person was arrested. The CISF is providing security to the entire airport, including this area,” a DIAL spokesperson said.

Last month, two employees of a ground handling agency were terminated for stealing mobile phones from the airport. According to the police, although the employees were hired only proper verification by the local police, there is a need to keep a close watch on them through CCTV cameras.

In 2011, 51 passengers had complained of theft from their registered baggage. Last year, 50 such cases were reported. While 29 persons were arrested in 2011, 36 were arrested for theft in 2012, most of them loaders.