Recently, the aviation industry has been under siege in Nigeria, with a deluge of issues that keep coming up, requiring airlines to be extra vigilant.
On the 20th of February 2023, there was a case of an alleged missing checked-in bag by a passenger (name and details withheld), who boarded Ibom Air flight QI0319 from Abuja to Lagos.
On arrival, the passenger raised a concern, claiming that he was missing his checked baggage, knowing fully well that this was not true.
Our officers swung into action for proper tracking. It was confirmed that all bags were loaded onto the aircraft from Abuja.Due to the passenger’s complaint, constant calls, disturbance, verbal abuse and threat to the company about his alleged missing bag and valuables items (Designer brand shoes, clothes, etc.) contained therein, we requested a replay of the CCTV footage of that day from Bicourtney Airline Services Limited, Managers of the Murtala Mohammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2) to ascertain what became of the bag.
From the CCTV footage, it was discovered that the bag the passenger claimed to have been missing was his checked-in bag. The CCTV footage showed when the passenger picked up the bag from the conveyor belt with a bag tag on it; he proceeded to the restroom, where he removed the Bag tag from the bag in order to escape the waiting Ibom Air Security Baggage Reconciliation Team, who would have retrieved our baggage claim tag from him and went straight to the Ibom Air counter, where he raised a false alarm about his alleged missing checked baggage.
When it was established that there was no missing bag and the passenger was dubious in his claim, the case was reported to the terminal’s aviation security and police.
He was thereafter invited to the office for further investigation and resolution of the issue.Upon his arrival, he stood his ground and was handed over to the security agencies, where he made his statement.
When confronted with the CCTV footage, he broke down and confessed to the crime.
He was charged to court for the offense punishable under section 168(d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015. He pleaded guilty to the charge, showed remorse for his actions, and promised not to repeat them. He was convicted with an option of a fine.
This statement is issued to deter unscrupulous elements who are hell-bent on tarnishing the image of Airline Operators while seeking illegitimate gain. We would further like to assure our highly valued passengers of our continuous strive for excellence and the safety and security of our passengers and their checked baggage in our care.