Airport bribery scheme by contract workers under investigation

Local News

The private company hired by the state to provide security at Hawaii airports said on Friday that it’s investigating allegations that four of its employees accepted bribes while working at the Honolulu International Airport.

The results of an undercover investigation by the FBI and agents from the Attorney General’s office says the indictment of the employees is due to their accepting more than $3,000 from taxi and shuttle drivers in exchange for letting the drivers break the rules.

Securitas said they could not comment on the indictment or the status of the employees.

At the State Legislature, Senator Rosalyn Baker (D/South and West Maui) introduced a bill Wednesday related to airport security.

SB2778 “prohibits the Department of Transportation from using private contracted agents and representatives to provide law enforcement and armed security services at the State’s airports. Requires the sheriff division of the Department of Public Safety to provide law enforcement and armed security services at all state airports.”

The senator introduced the bill before learning of the indictments. She said she started looking into the issue when Securitas employees at the Kahului Airport were calling themselves “airport police.”

“Even though I know some of the folk serving in these positions are actually retired police, I was concerned about the oversight,” she said. “I was concerned about people having the wrong impression, because they are contract employees. They are not what I consider to be bona fide law enforcement.”

The state Dept. of Transportation told KHON2 that Securitas receives about $33 million a year to provide security. Neither the DOT or the Dept. of Public Safety could say how much it would cost to have sheriffs take over security at the airport.

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