Airport security under scrutiny

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Questions are being asked about the security at Gate 10 and where private entities operate Fixed Based Operations (FBO) at the V.C. Bird International Airport following the bust of pilot Colin Murraine, on a chartered plane, with over 100 pounds of cocaine.

Airport workers, who did not want to be named because they’re not authorised to speak, told OBSERVER media that they have raised the issue of the private companies being allowed to hire their own security, the lack of round the clock security at least at one gate and the lack of proper searches of luggage being taken in and out of the private gates.

One of the areas in question is Signature Flight Support, a FBO company. Yesterday, when OBSERVER media called Brigette Cox, who manages the operation, the call went to a voicemail message indicating that she is off island and referred callers to her U.S. number, however, no No U.S. phone number was provided. When the newsroom contacted Signature’s local office line yesterday evening, an agent, who answered and identified himself as “Jason,” said the company had no comment and that no manager was available to answer our questions.

So far, one of our sources said that Signature has already beefed up its own security. One of the airport workers also told our newsroom that the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABBA) was also called upon to answer questions about the security of the international port of entry and to report to the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) whatever the measures are being put in place in the wake of the incident.

The ONDCP arrested 31- year-old Murraine on February 2 for possession, drug trafficking and being concerned with the supply of cocaine valued $1.7 million.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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