Drug trafficking: Airlines to be sanctioned for wrong baggage tags

Drug trafficking: Airlines to be sanctioned for wrong baggage tags

Following the busting of a drug syndicate that specializes in tagging names of innocent travellers on bags containing illicit drugs on international f

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Following the busting of a drug syndicate that specializes in tagging names of innocent travellers on bags containing illicit drugs on international flights at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, the Federal Government has said that airlines found to be complicit in the act would henceforth be sanctioned.

The Presidential Advisory Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse made this known at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, during a stakeholders’ meeting with security operatives. The Chairman of the Committee, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.), said the government plans to prevent the export and import of drugs, which he said had been killing many young people.

Marwa said, “Some airline workers collude with some persons to check in and tag passengers name on baggage that they are not aware of and which does not belong to them. We want to end the issue of innocent passengers check in and have their baggage tagged wrongly. Henceforth, such airlines will be sanctioned once we discover that such a thing happened on their flight.”

According to Marwa, Lagos airport has become one of the biggest entry and exit points for drugs in the country, adding that the trend must be brought to an end. The Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, MMIA Command, Mr Garba Ahmadu, reiterated this when he said that since the beginning of the year, the agency had intercepted 94.120 kg of cocaine, methamphetamine, ephedrine, cannabis and other illicit drugs while 26 people were arrested with five convictions within the period.

The security agencies present at the meeting said tracking criminals had been challenging due to lack of adequate technology such as Advanced Passenger Information System for profiling, sniffer dogs, poor staff remuneration and training.