The recent termination of two employees of a ground handling agency for stealing mobile phones from the Delhi airport was not the first time when an airport staffer was caught for theft at the airport.
The number of airport employees being terminated for theft is growing at an alarming rate and in the past three years, the services of 20 staffers have been terminated, 18 of them in 2012.
Most of the time, passengers are at the receiving end as they get to know about the thefts only after reaching their destination. According to the police, all staffers are employed only after they are duly verified by the local police, but cases of theft are a big reason to worry.
“Whenever any case comes to our knowledge, we write to the ground handling company to take appropriate action and we also make sure that the person never gets a job at the airport. Mostly, loaders are found to be involved in theft as they do it while loading/unloading the baggage from the aircraft,” a police officer said.
In 2011, 51 passengers had complained of theft from their registered baggage and last year 50 such cases were found. While 29 persons were arrested in 2011, last year 36 persons were arrested for theft and most of them were loaders.
To keep an eye on the increasing number of thefts, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), responsible for the security of the airport, have decided to frisk every employee coming out of the airport.
“Earlier, the staff used to simply walk out of the airport after their duty hours. But now, we have asked our men to frisk every employee before he or she leaves the airport,” said a CISF officer.