SriLankan Airlines helps crackdown on human trafficking through BIA

SriLankan Airlines is playing an increasingly important role in the campaign by Government agencies to crack down on illicit travel through the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), with 230 people with false travel documents apprehended in 2015.

Employees of the National Carrier work closely with other authorities at BIA such as the Sri Lanka Police, Customs and Immigration to identify people travelling without genuine official documents. The airline has its own group of specially trained document checkers, who have been trained by foreign embassies in spotting fake travel documents.

In the past week there have been a series of detections made by the SriLankan security staff, a statement by the National Carrier said. Professionalism has been encouraged to minimise and eradicate the organised crime of human trafficking

International law authorises airlines to ensure that passengers travelling between countries do so with all authentic documentation, as required by the airline industry’s global governing bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Airlines also face heavy fines from foreign governments if a passenger is detected with forged visa or passport, even if such passengers have been cleared through Immigration authorities at the point of origin. Fines range up to 5,500 euros per passenger or Rs. 873,000 in some European countries.

“SriLankan Airlines saved Rs. 130 million in fines from the 230 cases detected last year, apart from the cost of carrying the passenger back to his point of origin, cost of detention rooms at foreign airports, and investigation expenses,” the statement said.

While such fake passengers are likely to use any of the dozens of airlines which operate from BIA, SriLankan Airlines staff play an important role in detecting them on all airlines, since SriLankan is the sole airport service handler for all airlines at BIA. – See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/531399/SriLankan-Airlines-helps-crackdown-on-human-trafficking-through-BIA#sthash.sOq6qLyx.dpuf