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9 May, 2015

Drugs and terrorism threat: thousands of Sydney airport staff not security-checked – Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney – Thousands of airport staff are working without federal police or ASIO clearance, security experts warn in the wake of a drug smuggler’s claim that Sydney baggage handlers were part of his criminal network.

Peter Gardner, a 26-year-old dual Australian-New Zealand citizen who could face execution in China after he was caught last year with 30 kilograms of the drug ice, has given evidence that his flight back to Sydney was scheduled to coincide with the shift of baggage handlers working for the syndicate.

Security experts Roger Henning and Chris Cubbage and the baggage handlers’ union do not want to comment on the merits of Gardner’s claims, but they say airports are vulnerable to smugglers and terrorists because of a backlog of checks on ground staff – a high-turnover and largely casual workforce.

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