It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


ATS: Australia: Sydney Airport Staff Involved in Drug Smuggling.

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 30 2005 @ 12:13 PM
Two undercover operations, Tempest and Berlap conducted at Sydney airport has reportedly found evidence of major lapses in critical areas that were supposedly subject to the highest security. The classified customs report also suggests that members could pose a terrorist threat. The accused range in almost all levels of employment at Sydney airport.
It found Customs checks on aircrew were relatively rare despite evidence showing that they were "an extremely high risk". "Intelligence from other law enforcement agencies suggests that some Asian-recruited Qantas crew may be involved in the importation of narcotics and are current subjects of alerts," it says.

The report says 39 security screeners out of 500 employed at the airport have a serious criminal conviction, with a further 39 having been convicted of minor matters. It says 14 had questionable immigration status and two were referred to the Department of Immigration as illegal immigrants.

A well-placed Customs source told The Australian yesterday that investigators continue to uncover numerous "black spots" in the maze of baggage tunnels beneath the airport, which cannot be captured by surveillance cameras.

The black spots were allegedly known to baggage handlers and other employees and used as dropping-off points for drug importations.

The two Customs operations, dubbed Tempest and Berlap, targeted two groups of baggage handlers, each working in a gang of six. Investigators dubbed one the "Anglo Saxons" and the other the "Swarthies" - a reference to their Mediterranean appearance.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

If this is true, it could show how corrupt some Australian airport staff really are. I just hope that if proven, it leads to more vetting of potential staff, and updated security.

[edit on 30-5-2005 by sanctum]

[edit on 30-5-2005 by sanctum]

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 03:01 PM
This sheds an interesting light on the case of Schapelle Corby, the Australian woman possibly falsley accussed of drug smuggling into Indonesia. She has escaped the death penalty but received a 20 year sentence. The young woman is 27 years old.

Polls show an overwhelming majority of Australians believe that someone else hid the drugs in Corby's surfboard bag.

Her lawyers have suggested that baggage handlers could have stowed the drugs in her bag at Brisbane airport -- where she began her journey -- and that baggage handlers at Sydney Airport were supposed to retrieve the marijuana while Corby was in transit there before flying to Bali.

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 03:03 PM
I wonder how many other people read this and had the same thought as I did? Could this also be used to present some evidence that the Australian girl just sentenced to 20 yrs in prison was telling the truth?

Sorry Relentless -- I guess we were typing at the same time and you were quicker than me

[edit on 30-5-2005 by justme1640]

[edit on 30-5-2005 by justme1640]

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 03:06 PM
No apology needed Justme - great minds think alike

It just seems that there isn't a real proper appeal process for this young woman and I do hope this creates extenuating circumstances for her. It's looking pretty bleak.

Of course, it's a sad state of affairs for Australia if their lapses in security has truly caused this situation, but I am glad the information is not being held back at this time.

[edit on 5/30/2005 by Relentless]

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 03:31 PM
As one who has worked in the Baggage Handling area of LAX at one time, I can attest to the fact that airlines hire the lowest wage persons they can find. These persons are more than willing to assist in the smuggling of drugs as it provides a second income for them. Don't ever apply your personal feelings of law abiding self worth to baggage handlers, especially now that they are paid almost nothing by the airlines. Many of the workers at LAX were known gang members as well. There was one guy who had been busted three times for stealing from passengers bags, but his girlfriend (the lawyer) got him reinstated every time.

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 05:23 PM
Interesting the timing of this report. Something tells me it was a deliberate action intended to highlight the Schapelle case issues. Some might not be aware that the Australian media is just as much influenced by, and in bed with, government as it is in the States....maybe more.

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 05:31 PM
Another case that proves prohibition on drugs does not work. It just makes a black market with huge profits for the one willing to take risks.

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 08:16 PM

Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
Interesting the timing of this report. Something tells me it was a deliberate action intended to highlight the Schapelle case issues. Some might not be aware that the Australian media is just as much influenced by, and in bed with, government as it is in the States....maybe more.

Even if that is the case -- it really doesn't matter if the report is true. It points to the fact that the drugs could have been placed there and she is innocent.

The whole thing just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy since you can't lock your bags anymore anyway doesn't it? (sarcasm totally intentional)

posted on May, 30 2005 @ 08:54 PM
If you look at most likely drug smuggling candidates, I would definitely suspect baggage handlers more than people traveling through the airport. Only the stupid would expect big time drug smuggling operations to be done stupidly. If the handlers were using passenger bags, then the worse that would happen if caught and alerted to the situation would be some passenger getting accused and spending time in prison if the judge and jury didn't have common sense. Now the real culprits might be even harder to catch because they will be even more alert to security. This situation makes you wonder just how secure air travel really is. It makes perfect logic that someone going on vacation would bring along 9 lbs of some drug doesn't it?
sarcasm intended. Knowing that airport security will be checking bags etc. etc.

A smart investigator would have followed someone who had 9 lbs of drugs and either caught her in the act of selling it or tracked down others who were involved. Oh well, I guess whatever country did the convicting apparently did not care about the truth or justice and just wanted a high profile conviction to prove they are tough on drugs or something like that IMHO.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 02:25 AM
Hi all, I'm new to this forum, but just to pass on some news regarding this, this is a very touchy topic here in OZ partly because the Schapelle Corby case and the fact an inmate was flown to Bali to testify that the drugs were planted, and that this was extremely common practice in Australia Baggage Handler community. A fact the niether the govt of Australia is capable of handling, Our Federal Police are the laughing stock of the world and an Airline Company that is untouchable.
As expected everyone is now in damage control while an innocent girl is serving 20 years jail time in Bali, the Australian people are now boycotting travel and aid to Indonesia and for what - because the Australian govt didn't want to tackle this issue when it should have.
I say boycott the airline - QANTAS - I am.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 04:06 AM
Chuck Stevenson, I found your comments most interesting. It seems Sydney Airport and LAX may have a few similarities when hiring baggage handlers.

"Investigations revealed that some security guards ... have been in Australia for relatively short periods of time yet have already been issued with security and firearms licences despite their grasp of English being minimal."

The report said one security guard and his family were members of a "fanatical" religious group.

Among trolley distributors, the report says, "there is a predominance of Middle Eastern male employees in their early 20s".

"It was felt some of the men were under the influence of a particular supervisor who used his 'lieutenants' in the distribution of narcotics and the systematic stealing from carpark and baggage.


"Some of these persons have affiliations with radical ... groups and are seen as a possible security liability. Some have associations with gangs predominantly in Sydney's southwest renowned for gang rapes, ram raids, theft, drive-bys and car-rebirthing.

"The vulnerability of Sydney airport ... should not be under-evaluated in terms of counter-terrorism or other criminal activity."


Qantas, Government to talk security.

The head of security for Qantas says security issues identified in a leaked Customs report on Sydney airport will be raised at a meeting with the Department of Transport on Friday.

The Customs report suggests criminal gangs involving some airport staff could be involved in drug smuggling and identifies several types of staff that may pose security risks.

Qantas head of security Geoff Askew says the airline had been told nothing about the report and he had to call Customs today to find out what it was about.


posted on May, 31 2005 @ 08:57 AM
Government claims it didn't know about Customs report.

The federal Government has hit back at claims it failed to pass on to Schapelle Corby's lawyers a Customs report into drug smuggling at Australian airports, saying it never knew the document existed.

Labor has questioned why the Government did not hand over the secret report, which revealed that baggage handlers diverted bags containing large amounts of drugs from incoming international flights to domestic baggage carousels.
Given the report had been around since September, Opposition homeland security spokesman Robert McClelland said it should have gone to lawyers for Corby, who was sentenced by a Bali court last week to 20 years jail for drug smuggling.

Indonesian officials found 4.1kg of marijuana in Corby's unlocked boogie board bag. She denied the trafficking charges and said someone put the drugs in her bag.

"(The report) indicates systematic criminality ... that is a material fact that at the very least should have been disclosed to her defence," Mr McClelland said.


So, the Customs Department which is a Federal Government Department does not communicate this information as soon as it is available, given the fact that the report was completed last year.

I find this claim of ignorance by the government very hard to believe.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 10:55 AM

Originally posted by sanctum
So, the Customs Department which is a Federal Government Department does not communicate this information as soon as it is available, given the fact that the report was completed last year.

I find this claim of ignorance by the government very hard to believe.

I agree with you there -- especially since they apparently released the information a week after Schapelle was sentenced. I find it hard to believe it would have been impossible to release the information while that trial was going on. Or at the very least come up with a way to delay the end of the trial until they could release the information. And I do realize the trial was in a different country but I am sure there is some way it could have been delayed.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 12:26 PM
Sounds a lot like most American customs/baggage/security jobs. Except here, if we find illegals, or "recovering" former convicts, we're supposed to promote them in the sake of "diversity" and avoiding "profiling".

Australia isn't the happy-go-lucky nation many like to think it is. It's immigration policies are extremely restricitive, with set quotas on race and nation of origin. It's government runs a strong surveillance system within it's cities, and the bureacracy keeps things in line with licensing and permits for every aspect of life.

Fortunately, it has a large amount of undeveloped space for a pressure release. Very serious about keeping things going smoothly, they are. A very tight balance between freedom of person and benefit of everyone. A great example of freedom vs. security, and that's their solution. Time may show that it's the best one.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 12:28 PM
Just to stir the pot:

If the story was regarding the smuggling of weapons, would you use the same justifications, for the same conclusion?

Originally posted by cryptorsa1001
Another case that proves prohibition on drugs does not work. It just makes a black market with huge profits for the one willing to take risks.

posted on May, 31 2005 @ 12:30 PM

50 airport staff failed crime check.

About 50 workers at airports across Australia have been refused security passes since last July, the Federal Government has revealed.

A spokesman for the Minister for Transport, John Anderson, said the workers had failed criminal checks. Paul Chamberlin said that none of the cases were for politically-motivated violence.

The revelation comes as the NSW Police Minister, Carl Scully, accused the Federal Government of "scandalous inaction" on Sydney Airport security weaknesses and relying on airlines to protect Australia against terrorism.

Mr Scully will today ask the Justice and Customs Minister, Chris Ellison, to urgently introduce further security measures to counter deficiencies found at Sydney Airport in a Customs risk assessment report.

"I'll be conveying to him firstly my deep concerns about the contents of that report, and what appears to be scandalous inaction on the part of Customs and the Federal Government on airport security," Mr Scully told the Herald.


Are these employees who failed to gain a security pass due to a criminal record still working as airport staff. My opinion would be, yes. (sans security pass).

What a joke.

posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 09:33 AM

Federal Transport Minister John Anderson has announced a review of security at Sydney airport, after the leaking of a 2004 Customs report which found serious security breaches.

Further concerns have been raised today about an airport worker who had been jailed for drug smuggling.

Mr Anderson says there are two workers who fit the description but both have served their time in jail.

He says it would be illegal to discriminate against them for past offences.


"Their previous misdemeanours must be overlooked - they cannot be used to discriminate against people in the workplace," Mr Anderson said.

Source 2

I'm not a lawyer, but since when has drug smuggling been classed as a misdemeanour?
Any members familiar with Australian laws, regarding the above?

Also, 'if' these were misdemeanours, why would one receive a jail term? I thought a misdemeanour would result in a fine and perhaps a conviction. (non custodial)

posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 10:56 AM
Baggage Handler Charged.

Claims of drug-smuggling by Sydney airport workers have shifted to the domestic terminal, where a baggage handler has been arrested - offering hope to Schapelle Corby's appeal team.

The arrest yesterday of Richard Camilleri, 40, marked the fourth time a Qantas worker has been implicated in alleged drug-smuggling in the past four months.

The three other employees worked at the international terminal.

Police allege Mr Camilleri had prior knowledge of 250g of coc aine being smuggled from Sydney to Melbourne and told an associate that police had seized the drugs en route.


It also appears that all Australian ports are 'fair game' for drug smuggling, even military ports.

US Navy Sailors Arrested for Smuggling.

Two American sailors and a Canadian national have been arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs into Australia aboard a US Navy ship.

The three men were arrested in northern Queensland north overnight after the discovery of 11kg of amphetamines disguised as gift-wrapped packages, an Australian Federal Police (AFP) spokeswoman said.
Police arrested an American, 36, and the Canadian, 34, who lives on the Gold Coast, at a highway service station about 20km south of Townsville last night, the spokeswoman said.

The pair were allegedly in possession of the drugs.The other American, 39, was arrested at a Townsville hotel after an AFP search of his room allegedly yielded $US10,000 ($13,070) in cash.

One of the sailors is believed to be from the USS Boxer which will now be the subject of intense internal scrutiny involving sniffer dogs and random drug testing of its crew.

The US Navy has already pledged full co-operation with the AFP.

The USS Boxer was one of three American naval vessels to arrive in Townsville yesterday ahead of Talisman Sabre 2005 – a joint military exercise involving 17,000 US and Australian troops from June 12-30.

11 Kilograms = 24.25 Pounds.
Article 2

Just goes to show how unsecured Australian ports really are.


top topics


log in