Is Ghana Airports Company listening? Active thievery at unaccompanied baggage section



Concentrating on my own baggage problem report, I overhead not one, not two but multiples of lined up unhappy complainants at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) baggage complaints office last Saturday morning.

These individuals were visibly angry and swearing bitterly about their tampered with unaccompanied bags that had arrived days earlier.

They had come in that early Saturday morning to take possession of their unaccompanied items having received promptings that their bags were finally in.

Their shouts and outpour of grievances were so loud, one could not avoid eavesdropping.

The signals I got therefore were that all was not well at the storage centre where passenger’s unaccompanied bags and other belongings were kept on arrival at the KIA for reclaiming.

My bag did not arrive that Saturday morning with the flight so I had gone to this office near the baggage claims area to lodge a complaint and complete the necessary forms for tracking.

It was while there that these unhappy persons came in with their tampered bags to lodge complaints.

The first man to be attended to had opened his bag and realised the lock had been broken, as he unzipped the bag, he found some empty carrier bags which he had originally used to wrap some items during packing.

It was obvious that someone had entered the bag and taken some items that were in there.

While on it, another person came in with a hard case suitcase whose padlock had also been broken.

He had come complaining of stolen items from his bag. I could count at least three other persons, including a lady who were in line with complaints of tampering.

As I was waiting for the officer on duty to print out my complaint form, I observed a real tussle of dissatisfied customers unfolding. The question that ran through my mind was: where is the Ghana Airports Company (GAC) in all that was going on, that is, the complaints of thievery?

I said the GAC because the supposed thievery was happening on their premises and nowhere else.

The entire KIA and for that matter all the other airports in the country are under their administration.

These are high security areas and yet from what one observes, there are too many people, some attired and some not, who come an go in the area.

Yes, they may be staff of the company, but do we really need that number mingling with passengers at the baggage claims area when after all, baggage trolleys are freely provided for passenger use?

It was so repulsive the other day, hearing one such mingling staff asking unashamedly as he wheeled a trolley to a passenger and remarked: “perhaps you could offload your coins to me”. His message was too direct and shameful.

That apart and on the issue of alleged thieveries, one wonders where the electronic security surveillances at KIA are.

Definitely those opening and taking items from passengers’ unaccompanied bags are doing so undisguised and could be recognised in security cameras.

One cannot imagine that the unaccompanied baggage claim area does not have security cameras.


That should not be for any area within the inner confines of any high security institution as the airport.

Even if the culprits are not necessarily staff, what would be their right for being in such a protective enclave and to have time to do what they do without being found out?

On the other hand, if electronic cameras are in place, then arresting the culprits and bringing sanity in the area should not be a problem.

One wonders how problems of any dissatisfied individual is settled, having witnessed the process of complainants, including being asked to complete some kind of a form, while I was in there.

But that notwithstanding, the issue at stake is more to do with the safety and protection of passengers’ unaccompanied personal effects flown into KIA.

GAC should be concerned about the bad image the miscreants are creating for the country’s airports.

Some investigations need to be conducted and people made accountable. Thievery at KIA is not only a security risk, but it is also a shameful act that needs to be stopped.

One would call for strict implementation of restrictive access for all manner of persons, including third party access, into any of their buildings where especially passenger bags are stored.

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