Collusion by AIA screeners not plausible – CEO
THE THEORY THAT a security screener at the Argyle International Airport (AIA), placed a bullet in the bag of a passenger who was leaving the country last December is not plausible.
That is according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Argyle International Airport (AIA) Hadley Bourne, who told journalists that looking at this logically, a lot of things would have to be on the screener’s side for him to achieve such an act.
Bourne was answering a question in relation to an incident on Wednesday December 27, 2017 when United States based Vincentian Robert Steele was charged with having one round of nine-millimetre ammunition without a license at the AIA.
The Police charged Steele with possession of ammunition without a licence after the nine-millimetre round was discovered in his luggage when he was returning to the United States via the AIA. The charge was later dismissed after a trial at the Serious Offences Court.
The AIA’s CEO said those who accused AIA security personnel of setting up Steele must understand that security screeners must go through the same security procedures before they enter restricted or sterile areas, so it would be highly unlikely they would be able to get a bullet in an area where they could place it in someone’s luggage. He said Steele’s charges were dismissed because all the procedures were not followed to get a conviction.
Bourne however noted that the airport’s intention is to prevent unwanted items from reaching an aircraft and they did their job in this case by identifying the restricted item and it was up to law enforcement and the judiciary to move forward.
Head of Security at the AIA Keith Miller supported Bourne, emphasizing that screeners are subject to the same set of security procedures as persons who are travelling.
“Screeners do not know where they are going to work until the brief 15 minutes before the hour they are posted…. So then are you asking if they are going to be collusion with several screeners? Highly unlikely,” stressed Miller.
Miller, a former Commissioner of Police said that the AIA wrote to then Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin Williams, asking him to explain the grounds on which the matter was dismissed, and the DPP responded.
“…And honestly, he said it is something that he has spoken about repeatedly in terms of procedures like that and I am not going to mention it here,” said Miller.
Reiterating that the system works, Bourne referred to another incident with a bullet at the AIA which saw someone convicted.
On Monday January 15, Gerald Walters was charged with being in possession of one round of .38mm ammunition at AIA. The Canouan worker was on his way to Canouan when he was caught with the unlicenced ammunition and pleaded guilty in court. He was fined $700, $200 to be paid forthwith and $500 the day after.
HADLEY BOURNE CEO of AIA