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City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Thievery at Banjul International Airport must stop


The thievery at the BIA is appalling, disgusting and certainly very shameless. The BIA is the main entry point to the country and for employees of this outfit to be engage in thievery from their clients, that is Gambians and non-Gambians, is a travesty and a betrayal of the moral conscience. So, this thievery must stop and all relevant authorities, including the Office of the President, Ministry of Interior, Civil Aviation Authority, the Ministry of Justice, are notified.

It is a shame to travel to one’s country, collect your belonging, get home and realised after opening your cases that some of the items you brought with you have been taken, actually stolen. This is daytime robbery. Workers at the airport who are entrusted for the safe passage of customers, clients for this outfit, BIA, instead of safeguarding professional integrity busy themselves to rummage through the cases of passengers – gangsterism of the highest order – and it is a shame and a stain on Gambia.

Stop the stealing. It is disheartening to plan one’s trip and buy gifts for family and friend and come to realise later that all or some of these items were stolen by someone who should have safeguarded your property. It is disgusting and should prick the moral conscience of all decent people, including the authority of the airport who are either complicit in this endeavor or just don’t give a hoot to what is happening in their house, BIA.

Now let me give a context to what happened at the BIA on this faithful Friday, the 14 of July. My family travelled from the USA via Dulles and Brussels and landed at the BIA on this day. Reaching home and opening her cases the following day, my wife discovered her belongings were tampered with. She realised some of her items had gone missing, these items were not meant for the workers at the BIA. They belonged to her and should have been safeguarded by the BIA but instead these very BIA worker(s) helped themselves to property that they knew belonged to a customer of the BIA. As such, there is no convincing anyone can do to ally my fears of management not knowing such a menace and dastardly action is taking place within their house – what a shame, a stain on The Gambia and downright evil and criminal too.

Yes, take note all relevant authorities, including the office of the president, the thievery at the BIA is criminal, management should be held accountable. Yes management ought to be questioned about the thievery at this authority. It has been known for years of this kind of illegal and criminal activity happening at the BIA and, it should be about time it is stamped out, it’s a stain on the country, it’s equally shameless and downright criminal. Someone, and this must start with the head of the authority, ought to be held accountable and should furnish the populace why such an appalling criminal activity continue to occur, actually gather steam in the face of the so-called security fee disembarking passengers are made to pay. This fee, in itself, is criminal – all relevant fees associated with a plane ride are included in the purchase price of the ticket, so this stupid and useless fee is criminal and benefits none. Perhaps one can adduce this fee is a fattening fat for Securiport and maybe their accomplices at the BIA, what a shame. 

The so-called fee passengers are made to pay safeguards not and is a scam, actually a big one for that matter. It secures nothing, instead the introduction of Securiport to the BIA has added more burden to disembarking passengers. No, am not talking about the money one is made to part with, we all know it should not have happened, all fees as already stated above have been paid for when the purchase of the ticket was effected, but the space taken up in the arrival room by these Securiport employees. That room was already small, hot like an oven and now with the Securiport and Immigration in the same space passengers are parked and left to jostle, what a shame, a travesty.

It is a travesty to visit The Gambia and have one’s belonging stolen at the BIA, the main entry point to the country. It is wrong, it’s criminal, ugly and uncivilized. It has to stop, more so when all disembarking passengers are made to pay a fee which was meant to safeguard their person and their property. Stop the stealing BIA.  Yes, BIA this menace of stealing from passengers is very cruel and painful, it must be stopped. Frown all you want, but a thief must always be exposed, and the BIA is a house of thieves and must be exposed, perhaps re-exposed again. Employees masquerading as workers and stealing from passengers should be exposed, fired and prosecuted, and the head of the authority should have the balls to put his house in order. Don’t tell me he/she does not know his employees are busy rummaging and stealing from cases belonging to passengers. This has been going on for far too long for ignorance to be employed here.

So, take note Office of the President, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Inspector General of Police, Director General SIS and all relevant security outfits about this menace that has and continues to plague the BIA even with the introduction of the criminal so-called airport security fee which secures nothing but lines up the pockets of the already obese individuals whose passion is to rip and rob.

Baboucarr Lowe


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