Egypt airlines won't send delayed baggage home

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Jul 2013

Passengers now required to come to airport in person to receive delayed luggage due to smuggling concerns following 30 June instability; increased security measures taken

The Cairo International Airport’s customs office has notified airlines that it will suspend sending delayed baggages to passengers’ homes due to Egypt's current deteriorating security situation.

Ahmed Hassan, head of customs administration at Cairo’s airport, has told Al-Ahram’s Arabic website that airlines have been ordered to notify their passengers to come to the airport in person to receive their delayed baggage.

According to Hassan, the recent security precaution comes after a number of thwarted attempts to smuggle goods in delayed baggages.

“The latest attempts detected were clothes similar to those of the armed forces and the Palestinian Hamas organisation,” Hassan said. 

Hassan added that pursuing cases against smugglers is usually unsuccessful, as passengers who smuggle are not available to receive their luggage or claim that the smuggled items are not theirs.

Meanwhile, security procedures have been reinforced following 30 June in order to prevent weapons from entering the country. According to Hassan, manual inspection is applied in suspicious cases.

On 30 June, millions took to the streets demanding that Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi resign after what they described as an unsuccessful one-year tenure in office.

On 3 July, Defence minister Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced Morsi’s removal on national television, initiating a ‘roadmap’ for early presidential elections and amendment of the constitution.

Morsi supporters have staged a sit-in at Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque, vowing to remain until Morsi is reinstated. Clashes between the army and Morsi supporters on Monday left at least 51 dead.

In the Sinai Peninsula, Islamist militants have repeatedly attacked police and army checkpoints since Morsi’s removal.

Egypt’s security apparatus has been the subject of much criticism since the 2011 revolution, with over 1,000 deaths resulting from clashes between protestors and police forces.

The police, after failing to contain the protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, have been widely believed incapable of maintaining security ever since.

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