The Slovakian chief of border police, Tibor Mako, has quit following a major security cock-up which saw an unwitting electrician fly from the country's Poprad-Tatry airport to Dublin with 90 grams of RDX plastic explosive in his luggage. Security services planted eight pieces of contraband in passengers' baggage at Bratislava …
So they planted stuff on passengers then arrested any that got through. HOLY CRAP!!!!
Calm down its only a test............
Did you pack this bag yourself sir. Yes
Rubber gloves please
What is unbelievably stupid is that they let the man's luggage in which they had planted explosives onto the flight. In no way does it beggar belief that the man himself was allowed onto the flight since he is not a terrorist, smuggler or whatever and in fact is totally innocent. Not that I'd expect a politician to understand that.
Didn't the Slovakians send a TELEX to ground handlers in Dublin Airport warning them of the explosive in the guy's bag? Not a phone call to the cops, or even an email. A telex???
Why not just send a carrier pigeon altogether?
A grenade because...
Technically not a telex, but if the news piece called it an AFTN message they would be depriving some people from the chance to show their ignorance to the world.
the aircraft bearing the explosives "was on the runway when the error emerged but the pilot decided it was safe to fly". ®
Who was it? Semtex Airlines?
Dublin airport missed the RDX
The guy should be VERY grateful that the idiots owned up.
It could have very probably played out this way:
1. Idiots plant explosives on an innocent guy
2. Idiot forgets to remove explosives
3. Idiot does not want to get fired so says nothing
4. Supervisor of the idiot does not want to get fired so says nothing
5. Innocent guy gets arrested at Dublin airport and charged and imprisoned...
P.S. was it just me that noticed that Dublin airport missed the RDX?
Dublin "missed" the RDX?
That's ridiculous, passengers and luggage are screened while boarding, not on arrival. This is standard, although the passenger manifest is sent ahead. Do you think that all luggage leaving the plane is screened? The only reason to check incoming luggage is customs, and this was an EU citizen on an internal EU flight, so customs isn't really an issue. There was simply no reason to check the guy. He wouldn't even act guilty, he didn't know about the RDX!
You, sir, are a tit!
Yeah tharts right....Scan the luggage when it comes off the plane don't want the guy carrying explosives into a taxi on his way home.....
He'd have been picked up the next time he tried to fly out of Ireland though wouldn't he? Not a nice prospect - can anyone have explosives planted in their suitcase without them knowing as a 'test'?
You can't make it up
It's a good job he wasn't flying to .uk as, even when the truth came out, TPTB would still insist on keeping his DNA, adding him to the "no fly" list etc. just in case...
Either that or he would have been shot as he boarded a tube train, on the grounds he was a foreign electrician.
I wonder how long it will be before another of the eight passengers gets pulled in for having "residual traces of explosives" found in their luggage.
Nothing to hide != Nothing to fear.
Re: You can't make it up
Well, one question is whether they guy has committed an offence, even though he was unaware of what happened. If, for example, you took a bag through customs for someone and it contained contraband, you would (in most places) be guilty even if you didn't know what was in the bag. Does carrying explosive onto a plane constitute and offence, even if you don't know about it?
Dublin missed it
Why on earth didn't Dublin airport pick up the explosive? The only raided the guy's flat several days after when the slovakian police notified them. Also curious why they arrested the guy if it was obvious that it was the slovakian police that told them. What did they say to the gardí? No-one seems to want to talk about why the Irish completely dropped the ball in detecting the explosive and the disproportonate response afterwards
Re: Dublin missed it
Why should Dublin Airport pick it up? They screen on departure, not on arrival. After all, if someone wants to blow up a plane, then checking them after the plane has landed is not really a preventative measure.
Agreed with you about the disproportianate response afterwards though.
Um - Its normal to check for bombs when you get ON a plane???
Noone checks incoming passengers
He was coming from an EU country, why would anyone check him
Mr. Gonda could probably end up owning Slovakia if gets the right attorney.
This is normal procedure
Airports around the world plant things in passengers' luggages for the addicted Dogs to sniff out.
Mistakes like this have happened before, normally with drugs.
I recommend travelling with hard-case Samsonite/Delsey luggage and wrapping a band round your case ie. no external pockets and everything locked up.
You might get a few holes drilled by Customs in the bottom of your case, but it's worth the trouble.
Telex is still used, there's standard airline addresses eg. DUBLLEI will connect to Dublin Aer Lingus Lost Luggage.
Don't worry, it's normal Airline Procedure and it all works.
But in this case, a phone call might have been a better idea.
Paris - because I'd like to blow something up with you...
Safe to fly?
'the aircraft bearing the explosives "was on the runway when the error emerged but the pilot decided it was safe to fly"'
Probably it was, but if the pilot knew what was on board why didn't he tell the authorities at Dublin?
Irish handled it correctly
They don't check for explosives AFTER you land.
The Gardai arrested the guy on a the basis of a phone call which told them he had explosives. Correctly placed in custody while they confirmed that the call came from a genuine source. Lets not forgot - the Slovakian authorities let some baggage handling company know originally. It took them 3 days their act together and actually contact an official source. So the Gardai were righly suspicious.
Wasn't there a report since that there were two pieces and both were in the same bag... the handler supposedly took out one of the pieces and got called away and forgot the second piece... I'm fairly certain this is why the Slovaks were so angry with the Irish media!
"was on the runway when the error emerged but the pilot decided it was safe to fly".
I'm taking a guess here but was the pilot was half way down the runway? and committed to takeoff? should that read 'Safer' to fly than to slam on the brakes and perform and emergency stop?
odd how the pilot didn't mention it when he got to dublin, and the Gaurdia only found out in a phone call 3 days later...
the Telex to Servisair was more along the lines of "Can we have our explosives back?" than any kind of warning.
As for disproportionate response... the guy was detained during a search of the flat, and then released without charge. One way to read that is that he was arrested and so on, but much more likely he was asked to "sit over here in this police car while we check out your luggage" before being told he was free to go.
Human errors ARE system errors
Slovakia's interior minister, Robert Kalinak, said: "What happened at Poprad airport was a stupid human error. It is clearly an individual error not a system failure. Disciplinary proceedings against the policemen responsible are underway."
This is so short-sighted. When people are part of the system, then individual errors ARE system errors, and have to be accounted for in the planning of the system. This just proves that there is NO foolproof way to stop determined (and "lucky") terrorists from getting thru security with dangerous substances. Place a few ounces of semtex in a rubber, place it up where the sun don't shine, take a shower to clean off any residue, and you have a high-probability chance of passing airport security. That's the point - the system has failed not in detecting the explosive. It has failed in not knowing who is MOST likely to want to blow themselves and a lot of innocent people up, and keeping them away from the airport in the first place.
Pathetic security "test"
In the bad old days in South Africa when bombs were fairly routine, my wife worked for an oil company whose security chief decided to "test" reaction by leaving a book on a table with pages cut out and explosive-like material put in along with some wires. My wife was the finder, and was obviously pretty shaken by it, was asked to put in a formal complaint and the big macho security rambo left the building the same day.
Completely unacceptable testing of process, in my view.
According to the story 'Gonda was released without charge'. Since the man was demonstrably innocent of any wrongdoing, why the dickens was he held in the first place?
However, the pilot was quite right to fly knowing there was rdx on the plane. The explosive is totally stable and requires a lot of provocation before it goes off. If you are going to wet your knickers about that being on the cargo hold, don't even think about what's in the fuel tanks.
But this could never happen in Britain.
There is no possibility of a foreigner being arrested or worse because of an un or late reported mistake buy 'the authorities' acting incompetently or maliciously.
There would be no possibility or a person with 'explosives' residue on their person or effects being taken into custody by the police and having their liberty denied for an extended period.
Thankfully for all concerned, not least the owner of the bag, lessons have been learned and yet another insight into our Lords and Masters activities has been revealed.
Why did the Slovak authorities have to do the experiment on live bags, anyway? Don't they have military airports from which troops are sent? A definite WTF!
The Irish Times has an image the supposed Telex
This is what it says:
DEAR COLLEAGUES, PLEADE BE INFORMED THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED INFO FROM POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICE OF TAT APT. THAT THERE IS FORGOTTEN SAMPLE OF EXPLOSIVE MATERIAL IN BAGGAGE ON BORD OF FLIGHT NO V58230.THE SAMPLE OF GREY COLOUR IS IN PLASTIC BAG (SIZE 5 X 5 CM) IN THE RARE PART OF BLACK BAGPACK (UNDER HARNESS) IN HOLD NO 3 OR 4. THE SAMPLE IS NOT DANGEROUS.IT IS ONLY USED FOR DOG TRAINING. IT IS NOT ABLE TO CAUSE EXPLOSION NOR FIRE (NO POWER SOURCE AND DETONATOR IS INCLUDED).PILOT IN COMMAND HAS BEEN INFORMED ABOUT THIS SAMPLE BY ATC.WE WOULD LIKE TO KINDLY ASK YOU TO RETURN THAT SAMPLE WITH FLIGHT NO V58233.
THX FOR COOP
Yes it was safe
The pilot was right.
RDX is very stable.
They could have used it to boil the water for the in-flight drinks because it burns rather than explodes (although it's not something I'd advocate trying).
Good thing this is the 21st Century...
Or I'd suspect the Slovakians of trying to restart the Irish troubles.
Paris, because plastic is just what she IS.
"What happened at Poprad airport was a stupid human error"
And what happened in Dublin was a ridiculous exercise in Security Theatre!
"Err, hello, Ireland, we've put explosives in this guy's luggage without him knowing it..."
"Right lads, get round to his place and raid it and lock him up!"
"But, Sarge, he's innocent...!"
"If you're going to let things like that worry you, you'll never get far in the Police, sonny boy!"
Not that surprising at Poprad Airport
I've flown in and out of Poprad a few times as I have a mate who lives about 45 minutes from there, it is the tiniest airport I've ever been to, the terminal building is about the length of 3 double decker busses and about one double decker bus wide. The airport terminal building opens for about 4 hours a day, the majority of flights are small aircraft, but twice a week (wednesdays and saturdays) they have two A320 size planes flying in within 30 minutes of each other, both are budget airlines with fast turn arounds, when the planes get to their destinations they get refuelled and fly straight on to some other small airport, the planes don't stay at Poprad more than an hour after landing.
Between the check in desk and the departure gate you wont walk more than 100 yards. When you land at Poprad and get off the flight, it takes precisely 2 minutes to walk to the baggage claim via passport control, the baggage conveyor belt is about two metres long, it goes through the back wall and you can see the guy behind loading it up, the conveyor is so short it might as well not be there, the first time I flew in there I laughed at how ridiculous it was, he sticks the bag on the conveyor and 2 seconds later the guy on the other side takes it off and hands it to you, I've never checked in and out of an airport as fast I have there.
It doesn't surprise me that they missed something because the airport literally has less than 20 staff and those staff move roles as the passengers go to different stages in the airport and all the passengers go to that stage at the same time, the check in closes before both flights land and they close the doors and open some others and when you land you walk through the same corridors of the airport as you do when you check in. I would guess they also have between 2 and 4 sniffer dogs, that is how small this airport is. As the two big flights come in at the same time, the staff are rushed off their feet, you would only need there to be two big problems and the staff would be over stretched.
You can say what you like about the staff missing a piece of explosive at the airport, but you need to put this in context, this isn't on the scale of any airport in the UK, it's much much smaller, if security missed an explosive at Heathrow it would be embarrassing, if security missed an explosive at Poprad, well, it's just playing the odds really.
Let's hope this unfortunate chap never has to fly to the USA and needs to explain to immigration that yes, he was once arrested for possession of explosives, but don't worry, it was all just a mistake.
Time to sue!
I would sue the living crap out of everyone involved, imagine if he had been flying to the US or some god forsaken 3rd world country and got stopped by Customs!
While the stuff they used is Stable, it is not 100% safe, what if the guy has kids and they found it , then ran outside to play with the Playdoug daddy brought back for them!
I hope the guy gets £1 million for this, he deserves it!
And the chief of the border police resigned
He took responsability for the actions of a member of his department.
Can't see that happening in America with an *actual* terrorist was on the plane actively trying to detonate it (very badly. I was reminded of Con Air).
Check your factd
Methinks there's a language barrier at work somewhere here, lots of previously debunked claims still being bandied around as fact.
Firstly, the Slovakians explained two days ago that only 1 passenger, not 8, were affected. Maybe that figure of 8 is where the article got its claim of "eight pieces of contraband". But either way, only two pieces were used. One one passenger.
Secondly, the claims of collusion between the Slovak and Irish police forces: a commentard above (13:14) claims "So they planted stuff on passengers then arrested any that got through". They (Slovak border police) planted the RDX on a passenger, singular. He was subsequently arrested by a different police force (a different "they"), namely the Irish Gardaí. Said arrest is equally inexplicable - the Slovaks explained it was a mistake, why Gardaí needed to raid his flat and arrest him (as opposed to calmly turning up and retrieving the RDX) is currently being investigated.
Article's claim that the pilot decided it was safe to fly has been refuted by both Danube Wings and Czech Airlines. They say he was told the material was "harmless".
As for Dublin airport missing the stuff - the Dublin Airport Authority have highlighted that security checks are only performed on departing passengers. Of course, we regularly have drug mules arrested on arrival in Dublin. Maybe drugs aren't a security risk.