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FAAN to sanction staff who connive with drug traffickers

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Yemisi Olusina

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has vowed to punish any staff of the agency having connections with drug traffickers in the tagging of innocent passengers name on luggage with drugs at the nation’s airports.

This is just as the agency says appropriate sanction will be meted on the staff before being handed over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others.

Speaking with reporters, in Lagos State, General Manager of Public Affairs FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu , says the report of the special task force set up by the Managing Director of FAAN to investigate the involvement of any staff, would determine the punishment to be meted out based on their involvement.

She said the Agency was disturbed over allegation against some staff of their involvement in the Zainab Aliyu case at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano,  adding that the task force was expected to submit their report soon.

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According to her, the Kano airport incident had awaken FAAN to the need to tighten security and come up with stringent means of curtailing future occurrence.

Mrs. Yakubu listed efforts so far made in this regard to include the movement of the operation of unaccompanied luggage to the newly-created cargo section for proper tagging and the commencement of comprehensive profiling of background passengers and baggage handlers.

Others are the deployment of six sniffer dogs to the Kano airport and the installation of metal walk through screening detectors for the entrance to the terminal before boarding the aircraft at major Airports.

She explained that the action was to ensure that no passenger enters the terminal with drugs, adding that the agency had also intensified surveillance on baggage handling under aviation security supervision.

Mrs. Yakubu noted that there had been an improvement of the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) at the single interface desk to capture the area in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The FAAN spokesperson emphasised that it was the responsibility of the NDLEA to install drug detecting machines at airports not FAAN, adding that the Federal government had made recommendation for sophisticated scanners to be brought in for the detection of  drugs.

She advised passengers not to assist anyone to carry any form of bags and to inform the authority or security Agencies if they see any bag unattended to at the airport.