31 May 2018

Mozambique: Security Guards Caught Rifling Through Luggage

Maputo — The company MHS, which operates baggage handling and other ground support servuices at Mozambican airports, has announced that it is cancelling its contract with a private security firm, Macro Seguranca, after two of its agents were filmed in Maputo International Airport opening passengers' bags and rifling through their contents.

MHS subcontracted Macro Seguranca to move luggage from the terminal to the planes, but at least two videos have surfaced of the company's employees opening bags, rather than protecting them.

The latest video, shown on the Wednesday news broadcasts of the independent television company STV, was shot on Tuesday. It shows two Macro Seguranca agents looking through luggage about to board a plane from Maputo to the central city of Chimoio. The two men seemed relaxed, as if this was far from the first time they had helped themselves to passengers' belongings.

The MHS commercial director, Ismael Gulli, told STV "We shall cancel our contract with Macro Seguranca, and within 30 days we must hire another company to do this work".

He said MHS will also demand that Macro Seguranca initiates disciplinary, and possibly criminal, proceedings against the two men, who can be clearly identified.

Gulli admitted that MHS has received complaints in the past from passengers whose possessions have been stolen, but claimed the number of such incidents has declined recently with improvements in airport security.

"We have had some very worrying cases", he said, "and so we have developed a programme to strengthen our security capacity".

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