A whopping Rs 32 crore worth of valuables and other items, including cash and mobile phones, was misplaced by air travellers at the major airports of the country in the year just passed, official data says.
The data on ‘unattended property recovered’ for 2015 has been collated by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is mandated to secure 59 civil airports in the country.
As per the CISF, fliers left behind cash of various denominations, jewellery, laptops, cellphones and electronic items, among others, worth a total of Rs 32.15 crore in the security-hold area of these facilities.
“While all the items seized by on-duty CISF teams are handed over to the airport operating authorities, a substantial part of it has been claimed back by passengers after due verification,” a senior official said.
The paramilitary force evaluates these items after seizure and bona-fide owners can claim the same back from the airport operator’s desk after checking the list of recovered items on the website of the force at http://www.cisf.gov.in.
The force, which is tasked with frisking passengers and securing the entire length and breadth of these facilities from the point of anti-sabotage and counter-terror checks, also reported a total of 209 instances where arms and ammunition were detected in passengers’ baggage before being taken into the aircraft at these high-security facilities.
Of these 209 cases, 204 pertained to passengers carrying ammunition like live bullets in their bags while the rest were related to arms recovery.
“In the arms and ammunition seizure cases, it was largely found that the fliers carried them inadvertently. These cases are handed over to local police as per the norms,” they said.
The force also detected a total of 43 cases where people attempted to travel using fake e-tickets at these airports while it also apprehended 98 touts during the same period.
CISF is in charge of securing 59 civil airports at present and has created an Airport Security Group (ASG) for these duties by choosing and training its men and women for the special task.