Organised crime rots Australia’s airports

AUSTRALIAN airports are riddled with organised crime at every level, according to an Australian government investigation.

The federal inquiry has discovered that airline staff, baggage handlers and customs officials regularly smuggle drugs and weapons into the country. Professionals from within the aviation sector suggest that less than one per cent of air cargo is physically examined and catering trucks are never searched.

Qantas admitted to the inquiry that corrupt employees could misuse their airport access privileges. “The potential for a trusted insider to circumvent security measures and use their knowledge of the environment is an ongoing consideration for aviation industry participants,” it said.

Labor senator and committee chairman, Steve Hutchins, admitted border security was lax, especially people being able to easily access ground-handling services without passes.

“We are not at all impressed about what appears to be the ease with which people are able to access…aviation security cards,” he said. “It’s been proven that…in airports, there are clearly people who have links to organised and serious crime.”

Transport Workers Union federal secretary Tony Sheldon, said air cargo was rarely inspected and that one of his union’s members was only aware of one inspection in 2009.

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