Handlers behind theft of air passengers’ luggage, NA told

ISLAMABAD -  Stealing from the luggage of passengers in the Pakistan Airline continues unabated but the airline instead of devising a mechanism to curb the menace is blaming the baggage handlers for it.

In a reply to the National Assembly secretariat on Thursday, the officials admitted that the PIA passengers are vulnerable to baggage theft.

Pilferage or stealing from the luggage of passengers is not unusual in the airline industry and the PIA is also is no exception to it. Dishonest baggage handlers are primarily responsible for such theft while the luggage is being loaded in the aircraft holds, an official said in a written reply.

He said the PIA administration took action against 18 baggage handlers on October 30, 2015 on passenger complaints.

The accused were all hired through a contractor and during internal investigation by security division, no official of airline was found involved in theft.

They were all terminated from service and their Airport Entry Passes were confiscated, it added.

The officials said complaints about pilferage from passenger’s luggage are invariably investigated by the PIA’ s Security Division.

In some of the cases, no clue was found about the alleged theft. However, if it is established on the basis of CCTV footage or other reliable sources that the evidence against the accused baggage handlers is undisputed they are placed under suspension and disciplinary proceedings are initiated against them.

As per standard operating Procedure, on compliant of theft if someone is found guilty, police are called for help and such employees face criminal cases in courts and the daily-wages baggage handlers face outright termination from the job.

The screening of baggage handlers through Airport Security Force and PTA’s own security staff has been increased.

Passengers have been requested to keep their checked bags locked and always watch their bags even if they are passing through the security scanners. Not only inside airport but theft has also been reported at security checkpoints of airport.

The airline clarifies that these security checkpoints are not controlled by airlines and it is before the traveller even boards the plane.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt