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21 June, 2024
 
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Doubts raised over Larnaca airport breach story

Questions unanswered as airport and government seek full details on dummy explosive secret mission

Newsroom

A cloud of uncertainty has emerged over media reports about a serious security breach at Larnaca International Airport, with both airport and government officials in Cyprus raising a number of questions about the alleged incident.

Last week Greek Cypriot media picked up a story about an airport security official from Nicosia police headquarters, who reportedly managed to pass dummy explosives and knives through airport security.

The incident, which took place on March 9 according to daily Politis, was leaked to the press only last week, with airport representative Maria Karoupi raising questions about timing.

Karoupi, who was quoted in the media after the incident, said the company that manages airport security had conducted successful tests a few days before the story broke.

Questions about timing also came up after it emerged that the leak to the press took place one day after footage was deleted at the end of the 15-day storing period

“If there is such a serious finding, why did so many days go by without anyone being notified?” Karoupi asked.

Airport officials have also raised doubt over details about the incident, including exactly what did the officer have in his possession, whether it was detectable by scanners, and whether he had undergone a proper security check or used his credentials to skip mandatory screening altogether.

But video footage that could potentially clear up the incident may be out of reach.

Questions about timing also came up after it emerged that security video is stored for 15 days, with media reports suggesting the leak to the press took place one day after footage was deleted from the day of the alleged incident.

The alleged breach took place without the knowledge of civil aviation officials but Transport Minister Alexis Vafiades on Tuesday morning said police have confirmed the incident.

Government officials have called on the traveling public not to draw conclusions on airport security before a final report by Civil Aviation can shed light on the full circumstances.

This is not the first time an unexplained incident took place at Larnaca airport involving security breach, while Knews also understands there have been many misunderstandings between law enforcement stationed at the airport and security staff from the managing company.

Back in 2021, passengers had to go through screening a second time after an off duty police officer traveling with family used his clearance to skip security checks. Knews has been told that case was not investigated as an accidental or unintentional incident.

Other incidents included situations where individuals walked into areas that triggered contamination alerts, including a person during a photo shoot with female models.

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Cyprus  |  Larnaca  |  airport  |  security breach  |  travel  |  passenger  |  dummy explosive  |  police

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