Security at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) was breached on two consecutive days recently. On February 18, a police sub-inspector (SI) managed to pass through all checkpoints and board a Bangkok-bound flight, and the very next day, a customs officer on pre-retirement leave managed to pass through the security checks. These could not have occurred at a worse time for us. We just managed to get a two-year ban on direct cargo flights by the UK, having satisfied the British authorities that safety and security measures had improved considerably. Regrettably, these incidents happened immediately after that.
There is simply no way the matter can be trivialised. Apparently the policeman was not challenged by any security official because he donned a police uniform while the retired customs officer, reportedly, used her expired ID card to get up to boarding bridge. It seems that the basic lesson of security, that uniform is no guarantee for one\’s identity, had been forgotten by every single person in the chain. What would have happened had anyone with bad intentions decided to test the system in the same manner? We would hope that this incident will not have any repercussions on HSIA\’s international security ratings.
We expect the police authorities to get to the bottom of this matter. The two errant government officials had broken the law and must answer for it. Agencies involved with airport security need to tighten up security to make sure such things never happen again. Getting cargo bans imposed by foreign countries where the bulk of our exports go lifted is a matter of national importance and it is hoped that the government will take measures to secure effectively the airport without any further delay.