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Latest drug bust triggers security review at CJIA

The Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation (CJIAC) is expected to clamp down on access to restricted areas in the wake of last Saturday’s 11-kilo cocaine bust at the facility.

Two Customs officers and a supervisor of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) are among several individuals implicated in the find. DemWaves understands that a security officer attached to Secure Innovation and Concept (SIC) and a ground staff of Timehri Handling Services are also under investigation. 

The companies are contracted by CAL.

A CJIA official told DemWaves on the condition of anonymity that in light of this latest breach the management and its security committee will review access to restricted areas including that of Customs.

DemWaves was told that the Airport Authority has already withdrawn the restricted areas passes of several employees working the Saturday flight.

Members of the Customs and Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU) were called to further examine a bag after an SIC staff discovered inconsistencies with the baggage tag. A subsequent check revealed that the bag contained 10 parcels of cocaine weighing around 20 pounds. 

According to an airport official, the drugs were the only parcels in the bag that was destined for John F Kennedy International (JFK) Airport, USA via Caribbean Airlines 526.

DemWaves was told that the security office was able to map the movement of the bag in the airport and that there was strong video evidence to suggest that a Customs Officer facilitated the movement of the bag into the restricted area.

The official further stated that the tag found on the bag could be retraced to the CAL staff, who it is believed was working with the airline security, Customs Officers and the ground handling staff to facilitate the drug’s movement.