Thursday, February 08, 2018

Passenger profiling in the wings to check crime

Pune: Customs authorities are mulling innovative measures to identify and catch hold of smugglers sneaking into the country through the airport here.
With seizures becoming a frequent affair, mostly of gold, the customs authorities have taken two new moves — scanning the passengers first flying in the domestic circuit and subsequently taking international flights and keeping a close watch on international travellers hailing from some specific places in the country (see graphics).
With the Pune airport currently having four airlines with international services, customs officials said the primary aim was to stay all the more vigilant.
"We are particularly concerned about the airlines — SpiceJet, Air India, Jet Airways and Lufthansa — that operate international flights from Pune. There can be passengers who are flying to a domestic destination, for example, New Delhi or Mumbai on a Jet Airways flight and then flying to an international destination from there," an official said.
"We have asked for a list of passengers with similar flying patterns. We will not intervene in the checking done for departures by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), but our men will be at the departure area to check and scan the passengers. With our intelligence system at work, we can pick up a passenger for questioning and thoroughly check his or her luggage," he added.
The number of passenger checks in the domestic departures will be fewer.
"We don't think that there will be a lot of passengers on the list to be provided with is. Once we get the list, we can profile the people mentioned on the list thoroughly. We can also verify if they fall in the 'suspicious' category," the official said.
08/02/18 Joy Sengupta/Times of India