Massive airport security sweep leads to more arrests

The continuing peak season safety and security drive at OR Tambo International Airport continues and to date 30 people have been arrested.

During this operation, extensive landside, passenger terminals and airside stop and searches are conducted – and thus far a total of 2,500 people and 450 vehicles were stopped and searched.

During this disruptive operation, some electronic devices such as a laptop and cell phone were found on contracted employees. The items were confiscated, and cases opened against the culprits.

In another incident, a random search operation was being conducted at an aircraft about to depart on an international flight. One individual fled the scene across the apron to avoid being searched.

He was identified through covert surveillance methods and arrested as he tried to leave airside through a guarded egress point. More arrests were made in this area due to the covert surveillance method that was used.

The intensified security measures have been enabled by the integrated tactical multi-disciplinary security cluster including South African Police Services (SAPS) that deployed more than 60 members and more than 75 personnel from contracted security contractors.

These operations are conducted on a random basis as part of the airport’s effort to disrupt potential criminal activity and to emphasise to employees that they must always adhere to security processes, be ethical in the execution of their duties and comply with aviation safety regulations.

Permits to work at the airport can be revoked where regulations are not followed.

“We especially appreciate the tangible support and efforts of the stakeholders and individuals who form part of the airport ecosystem. This is a collaborative effort that is essential for success,” said acting airport spokesperson Samukelo Khambule.

In terms of baggage operations, stringent security measures have been activated which include 24-hour CCTV monitoring for the arrival and departure of bags coupled with hourly on-site inspections.

Inside the terminal buildings, airport security officers have remained active in removing loiterers and touters that conduct illegal services by making direct approaches to passengers offering various unauthorised services such as taxis and trolley-pushing.

“All passengers are encouraged to request for support at the airport-branded information counters. Airport patrons and members of the public are urged to report any suspicious criminal acts to the airport Police Station and uniformed airport staff,” OR Tambo said.

Read: Major security sweep sees South African airport staff arrested and fired for stealing

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Massive airport security sweep leads to more arrests