Thief syndicate still active at HSIA

Organised syndicate of smugglers, cheats, touts continue to roam in and around the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), snatching belongings from both incoming and outgoing passengers.

Besides, these groups are also engaged in trafficking and gold smuggling, engaging in foreign currency and drug rackets, and shuffling of other unauthorised goods under the very nose of the authority concerned.

And these gangs always maintain constant communication with a section of officials and members of Biman, Civil Aviation Authority, customs and security forces to make good their escape, whenever needed.

Despite continuous surveillance and strict security measures, these organised syndicates also known as ‘Luggage Party’ prevail scattered at the airport to steal belongings of passengers.

It is learned that at least 50 to 60 groups of people are continuously roaming around the airport and awaiting opportunities to make away with luggage.

On the other hand, inside the airport, inbound passengers often find their luggage cut, and valuables like mobile phones, laptops, perfumes, mobile phone accessories, chocolates, watches, cameras, taken away.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Airport Armed Police Battalion (APBn) arrested a Nigerian man for cheating in the name of getting gift items exempted from airport customs.

The Nigerian man named Joshua Chukwujiok (32) was arrested based on a woman’s complaint from the airport premises. According to HSIA information, besides the country’s local syndicates, some groups consisting of people from Africa, especially Nigeria, are also actively cheating people through social media like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and other such platforms.

On November 28 last, at least 20 passengers from the same destination found their torn luggage moving on the belt. In recent times, several passengers have filed complaints of losing their luggage at the airport. Based on their allegation, the airport magistrate’s team and APBn conduct drives analyzing the CCTV footage identifying the persons behind such illegal work.

On February 7, APBn caught a person red-handed from the airport canopy, and later a mobile court awarded him one-year imprisonment. 

In this regard, Alamgir Hossain, additional superintendent (Operation and Media) of APBn told Bangladesh Post “Recently such unwanted situations have decreased, and we are maintaining strict vigilance round the clock to ensure safe movement of passengers”.

“If we receive any complaint from passengers, we immediately check the CCTV footage to identify the problem. In maximum cases, we can identify the accused person and return valuables with luggage to the respective passenger,” he added.

When asking about the torn luggage inside the airport, he replied, “We are continuously monitoring both inside and outside of the airport. In recent times, a good number of officials and workers have been apprehended and sent to jail for different terms”.

However, he urged passengers to stay alert as their consciousness can uproot these kinds of problems at the airport.

According to HISA airport information, at present, if anyone lodges complaints at the lost and found department, the authority concerned is now able to solve the respective passenger’s complaint at the earliest.

HSIA Executive Magistrate Ahmed Jamil told Bangladesh Post that they always remain alert so that no passenger has any bad experience. Nevertheless, if any unwanted situation occurred, based on complaints, they take action to solve the problem at the earliest.