An employee of the Sofia Airport security department was sacked as a result of the latest case of failure to follow security proceedings, Bulgarian National Television reported on September 13.
The airport’s management told the public broadcaster that an unspecified number of “supervisors and department heads” had been handed administrative punishments, up to final warnings before firing, but gave no additional details.
These punishments come after media reports on September 12, later confirmed by the airport’s management, said that a number of passengers were not properly screened during a layover between flights.
Passengers who arrived in Sofia on a Bulgaria Air flight from Beirut on September 3 were allowed to mingle with departing passengers who had already been screened, Bulgarian National Radio reported.
In total, 40 passengers that passed through Sofia Airport and took a connecting flight to London did not have their luggage checked, as is required by security regulations because Lebanon is considered a risk country, private broadcaster bTV reported.
Border police blamed the incident on the airport’s own security staff, bTV reported.
Radio station Darik said that airport security managed to track 30 passengers for screening, but 10 others had taken the connecting flight without the requisite security check.
This was the second incident of this kind in the past six months at Sofia Airport, after a number of passengers on an inbound flight entered the country in March without having their passports checked because there were no border police officers at their desks.
Following that incident, five border police officers were fired, one quit, four were handed three-year bans preventing them from being promoted and three others received milder punishments, news website Mediapool reported.
In a separate case in July, a private plane from Greece landed briefly in Sofia and departed an hour later without the passengers or crew passing any security screening.