Business News of 2014-07-08

Airport company fights pilfering with GH¢4.4m investment

The Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) has admitted to the embarrassing nature of the rising incidence of pilfering at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) but said it was working to ensure an end to the practice.

It said it had invested more than one million Euros, equivalent to GH¢4.4 million, into the design and installation of ultra-modern closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) at vantage points across the airport.

The CCTVs, it said, would be manned by independent people outside the domain of the GACL and other airport services related institutions.

The disclosure of the GH¢4.4 million investment in CCTVs come in the wake of rising incidence of stealing of items from the luggage of passengers at the airport.

Graphic Business realised that those engaged in the act mostly targeted passengers arriving from China, the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), Turkey, among other countries, where many Ghanaian traders buy goods in bulk for the retail market.

Some passengers, who arrived from Beijing, China, through Dubai in the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) onboard an Emirates Flight, EK787, on June 21, became the latest victims of the pilfering incidence that the GRAPHIC BUSINESS witnessed.

Some of the passengers had their bags broken into and items such as mobile phones, watches, power banks, jewellery and clothes stolen.

Although some of the victims lodged separate complaints to some senior ground handling staff, airport, customs and immigration officers then at the luggage collection unit, the staff refused to act with the excuse that passengers have always been advised not to leave valuables in their check-in luggage.

In January, this year, also some four staff of ground handling services provider, Aviance Ghana, were arrested for a similar incident and have since been penalised as part of efforts aimed at deterring the practice.

Officials of the Airport Company said it was regrettable that despite the continuous education of staff on the embarrassing nature of the practice to the country and airport in particular, the incident kept recurring and hoped that its latest investment in the CCTVs would help cure it.

The installations of the cameras started in January, this year, and are expected to be completed for operation before the end of the year.

When completed, the cameras would provide 24-hour security surveillance at all sections of the airport, thereby discouraging those engaged in the pilfering of passengers' luggage from continuing with the practice.

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