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Second South African Airways crew arrested in UK for 'contraband'

By Adriana Stuijt     Feb 16, 2009 in Crime
The national carrier South African Airways confirms today that a second of their 15-member crews were arrested at Heathrow Airport in the UK on Monday for 'possession of illegal goods'. Arrested were 3 cockpit- and 12 cabin crew of flight SA234.
This is the second time an entire crew of SAA was arrested in the United Kingdom. See our previous story here
SAA spokesperson Robyn Chalmers said three cockpit and 12 cabin crew of flight SA234 from Johannesburg to London were detained by authorities after "contraband" was found in the crew bus at the airport.
"This comes after last month's incident where SAA crew members were arrested in London following the discovery of illegal contraband on the crew bus," Chalmers said.
The SA Airways Pilots' Association expressed dismay over the damage done to its reputation after the first drug-busts scandals, when investigations by the UK police found that none of the flight-crew members had been involved in the first drug-bust.
"SAA pilots are extremely proud of their profession and the airline for which they fly. We are deeply offended that the criminal behaviour of some reckless individuals (among the cabin crew) has damaged the reputation of the airline and by association our profession," said SAAPA chairman Jimmy Conroy just after the first drug bust. on 20 January. British officials found 50kg of dagga (marijuana) and 4kg of cocaine in three suitcases (collectively worth approximately R2m) belonging to SAA workers - which did not include any pilots.
SAA then said it had 'tightened existing security measures following the incident .' -- including changing security systems, conducting physical searches of bags and using sniffer dogs.
"An investigation in Johannesburg, involving SAA Aviation Security and the SAPS Crime Intelligence Unit, is also under way to establish how security procedures were breached," Chalmers said from South Africa.
"SAA remains committed to a zero tolerance approach towards the use of the airline's services for any criminal activity and will continue to closely monitor the situation going forward," she said. see
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