Bag tampering, theft at SA airports below global standard

The Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) says local airports are well inside the global standard when it comes to stolen luggage or tampering with bags.

Acsa spokesperson Hulisani Rasivhaga said on Friday there were 0.4 to one bags stolen or tampered with per 1,000 bags handled while the global standard was four bags per 1,000 bags.

“It can ruin a business trip or leave a cloud over a holiday journey that should be part of a happy and pleasant break. As with any property crime, baggage pilfering can leave a victim feeling violated,” said Rasivhaga.

“It is also a reality that criminals continually test systems to find opportunities to steal. Sometimes they unfortunately succeed.”

The comments come on the heels of a tweet by anti-crime advocate Yusuf Abramjee, who pleaded with South Africans to demand action from airlines, the police, Acsa and the transport department to put a stop to bag tampering.

Acsa insisted they had “strict security protocols and processes” in place. Incidents often increased over the festive period because more people were travelling.

One problem related to handling luggage was that often less than one in 10 people working at airports were actually airport employees.

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