Mar 16, 2016 (LBO) – SriLankan Airlines has apprehended 230 persons with false travel documents last year in a bid to crack down on illicit travel through Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
International law authorizes airlines to ensure that passengers travelling between countries do so with all authentic documentation, as required by the airline industry’s global governing bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Airlines also face heavy fines from foreign governments if a passenger is detected with forged visa or passport, even if such passengers have been cleared through Immigration authorities at the point of origin.
Fines range up to 5,500 euros per passenger (LKR 873,000) in some European countries.
“The airline has its own group of specially trained document checkers, who have been trained by foreign embassies in spotting fake travel documents,” SriLankan Airlines said in a statement.
“SriLankan Airlines saved LKR 130 million in fines from the 230 cases detected last year, apart from the cost of carrying the passenger back to his point of origin, cost of detention rooms at foreign airports, and investigation expenses.”
While such fake passengers are likely to use any of the dozens of airlines which operate from BIA, SriLankan Airlines staff play an important role in detecting them on all such airlines, since SriLankan is the sole airport service handler for all airlines at BIA.
The airline said their employees also work closely with Sri Lanka Police, Customs and Immigration to minimize and eradicate the organized crime of human trafficking.