Guns, knives and bulletproof vests found in flight luggage

2012-11-14 12:00

South African airport security screening has failed to pick up a man travelling with enough gear and weapons to launch a small attack.

Two air pistols, 10 bulletproof vests, five knives, military uniforms and combat caps, walkie talkies, fez caps, tasers, knee pads, tear gas, chargers, batons and traffic bars were found in the checked-in luggage of a passenger after he arrived in Nigeria.

The weapons were not found during screening “as no explosives were involved”, Transport Minister Ben Martins said in reply to a written parliamentary question by DA MP Greg Krumbock.

This incident was one of three known screening failures at South African airports.

The other involved a loaded magazine found on the checked-in baggage of a passenger from a neighbouring country, while on another occasion a staff member entered airside with a small knife.

In the past three years there had been 16 screening failures, including four loose rounds of ammunition falling from a passenger’s bag on a BA flight, a magazine with seven rounds found on a passenger on arrival at Qatar, and a BA passenger reporting to a flight attendant that she had a knife in her possession.

There had been 11 bomb threats at South African airports in the past three years, but each time the area was swept and declared safe.

In the past three years 18 people entered restricted areas in South African airports illegally. One, a stowaway, died, and twice culprits who were apprehended absconded.

It was suspected that they tried to steal from the airport.

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