The South African Police Services (SAPS) have stated that increased safety and security efforts around OR Tambo International Airport are already yielding positive results.
Following a direct order earlier this week from Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, authorities adopted a multi-disciplinary and inter-departmental approach to the policing and safety administration of the national key-point.
Implementation of cargo-crackdown searches have already allowed authorities to stop a consignment of shampoo bottles filled with cocaine, while tighter patrols on routes surrounding the airport allowed officers to intercept a suspicious vehicle with numerous loaded automatic rifles stowed within it.
“The consignment [of shampoo], with an estimated weight of 200kg and an estimated street value of R50 million, was destined for Australia from Sao Paolo”, explained Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale.
The security overhaul comes after a series of intense crimes occurred around the transport hub in the beginning of the year including an armed heist with the use of fake SAPS equipment and an execution-style killing and car-jacking.
Minister Mbalula said the airport would look at reforming its vetting procedures when hiring new employees and look to refresh its current roster of long-term staff.
Mbalula added that security forces, made up of specialised SAPS units, Gauteng Metro Police and private security outfits, would be better equipped to handle more responsibilities around the area.
Short of declaring war on criminals in the area, Mbalula has driven this initiative to make sure that innocent travellers feel safe around the airport and suspicious travellers don’t.