RSA Bribery


Published: November - 1999

In South Africa, we are pleased to note that our report last month on hunters having to pay bribes to get their guns aboard planes at Johannesburg International Airport (see the October, 1999 issue, page 9) has caused officials there to take some decisive action. Continuing subscribers know the problem was being created not by airline officials or government customs officials but by agents of the private security firm, Gray Security, that is empowered to control and handle all firearms being placed aboard flights in South Africa. A number of these agents at JIA were extorting payments of up to $50 from hunters by implying that a payment was necessary before their gun would be handled.

Our report on this made its way to the desk of Gray Security Chairman, Dick Aubin, who sent us a fax October 14 indicating he was "appalled" at the behavior we described. He promised to take action, and did so two weeks later by transferring the entire Gray Security staff working at the desk at JIA responsible for firearms, including their supervisor. In a follow-up fax dated October 26, Aubin urged Hunting Report subscribers who were asked for a bribe and who remember times, dates, names and amounts to get in touch with Gray's Director of Aviation Security, Mike Verne (Don Causey Note: We will forward here at The Hunting Report). In the future, he says arriving hunters who experience problems should call Verne immediately on his cell phone.

Meanwhile, we also received word from Bert Meintjes, head of aviation security for South African Airways, who said polygraph testing and other steps, were being taken to prevent a recurrence of the problem. Importantly, he says notices are being posted at all firearms counters with contact numbers of SAA Security Operation and Gray Security Management. Almost certainly, these actions have put an end to the bribery scheme at JIA. If it hasn't, get names and dates. And let us know, too.

Still on the subject of airlines, if you plan to fly to South Africa on SAA after........(continued)

 
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