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Criminal complaint laid against CAA, security firm over untrained K9 handlers

Explosive canine handlers are required by local and international aviation laws and regulations to have specific certifications and competencies which are allegedly not being enforced, putting aircraft and passengers at risk.

Scorpion Risk Services. Picture: Facebook/@scorpionriskservices

PRETORIA - A criminal complaint has been laid against the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), BidAir Cargo and Scorpion Risk Services for allegedly turning a blind eye to unqualified and untrained canine handlers who search cargo for explosives.

The case was opened at OR Tambo International Airport’s police station on Sunday by dog handler Bradford Wood who lodged a complaint with the SACAA against Scorpion in September last year.

Explosive canine handlers are required by local and international aviation laws and regulations to have specific certifications and competencies which are allegedly not being enforced, putting aircraft and passengers at risk.

Wood said in an affidavit that he had identified five dog handlers at Scorpion Risk Services who were not qualified to screen for explosives, yet they were permitted to operate.

He said he raised this with the SACAA last year but alleged they had turned a blind eye to what is happening.

Wood warned of the threat of explosives making it onto aircraft because the handlers were not properly qualified to search for this type of contraband.

The SACAA’s spokesperson Pappie Maja confirmed that they were investigating Scorpion after receiving their first complaint in September last year.

But Maja said they were satisfied with the corrective action plan Scorpion committed to implementing and insisted that no passengers were at risk.

Scorpion has not yet responded to questions.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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