Chennai airport focuses on cargo section after recent smuggling bid

27 April 2015 (Last Updated April 27th, 2015 18:30)

Demand for increased surveillance at the cargo section of India's Chennai Airport has stepped up following the recent arrest of a contractor and his aides in relation to smuggling.

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Demand for increased surveillance at the cargo section of India's Chennai Airport has stepped up following the recent arrest of a contractor and his aides in relation to smuggling.

Authorities say one of the arrested was an ex-armymen and responsible for running an agency in charge of security at the air cargo complex.

Almost six kgs of gold was being smuggled from Singapore on a Tiger Airways flight and acting on a tip-off, the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) made the arrests.

An airport official was quoted by Deccan Chronicle as saying that while the airport had long been concerned about the monitoring of the export section that had the potential of being an entry point for explosive items on flights, authorities were now focusing on the import section to prevent pilfering.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the agency in-charge of overall security at the airport, earlier in its recommendations sent to the airport management said that there was a need for immediate attention to the present surveillance mechanism at the cargo section.

The agency had also stressed on the need for an improvement in the general surveillance and intelligence network for identifying suspects.

Airport director Deepak Shastri was quoted by the Deccan Chronicle as saying: "In the aftermath of the latest incident, we have introduced a new measure wherein access to key areas like cold storage, located in a secluded part of the cargo complex, would be controlled by two officials drawn from different agencies, compared to the earlier situation that enabled unrestricted access for a single person."

The airport has also been asked to monitor and regularise the entry and exit mechanism by shutting down other gates to ensure better control of movement.


Image: The Chennai airport authorities are concentrating on reducing pilfering at the its cargo section. Photo: courtesy of Airports Authority of India.