June 17, 2014

Allegation of luggage pilfering resurfaces at Lagos Airport

Allegation of luggage pilfering resurfaces at Lagos Airport


IKEJA—Pilfering of belongings of air travellers has returned in full force at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.



The development has left many victims with sour tales of how they lost valuables after arriving at the airport from various overseas countries.

The victims alleged that their belongings were tampered with during the process of bringing their luggage to the conveyor belts at the arrival hall of the airport.

According to them, any baggage not padlocked stands high risk of being pilfered by the ground staff of the aviation handling companies at the airport.

One of the victims, Mrs Sarah Ashafa, lamented that her luggage had been tampered with at the nation’s premier gateway after a recent trip overseas.

Ashafa lamented that she lost many personal belongings at the airport on June 3 on her return from a trip to the U.S., saying that she had suffered a similar experience before.

“When my bags got to me through the conveyor belt, I discovered that one of the bags that had my under wear, shoes and other items had been torn open with many items missing. I was very embarrassed; why should they steal my pants along with my shoes and clothes?” she asked.

“The authorities should do something about it because I know that this will be happening to other passengers. I believe it happened here in Lagos,’’ she said.

Another victim, Mr Fred Uzo, who returned to Lagos on May 8, aboard a Delta Airlines flight from the U.S, also complained that he lost an expensive belt he kept in an unlocked compartment of his luggage.

“I was amazed when I returned home to discover that the belt was gone. I later realised that I kept the belt in an unlocked compartment of my luggage.

“I was totally embarrassed because I didn’t realise that such crimes could still be taking place at the Lagos Airport after all the measures put in place by the Federal Government.”

Uzo said that he had thought that the era of luggage pilfering at the airport had ended, urging the authorities at the airport to step up security at the luggage area of the airport.

He said that he was not aware that he ought to have reported the incident to officials of the airline he used or to other relevant authorities at the airport.

A staff of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), who spoke on the development, said the management of the company was not aware that belongings of travellers were being tampered with at the airport.