Two border police employees at the Sofia Airport border checkpoint are facing disciplinary punishment as a result of an incident that once again highlighted security flaws at Bulgaria’s largest air hub.
The incident involved two Vietnamese citizens who arrived on a flight from Dubai on September 21. Although both were in possession of short-term entry visas, during the passport check, the border police found that the two could not give a reason for their visit, nor did they have sufficient funds to cover their stay in the country, the Interior Ministry’s border police directorate said in a statement.
As a result, the two were detained and were set to leave the country on September 23. While waiting for their flight, they were left unsupervised at Sofia Airport’s Terminal 2 and one of the Vietnamese nationals left the security area through an unlocked door, but was detained shortly thereafter.
After investigating the incident, the border police deputy director has recommended disciplinary punishments for the head of the border police unit in charge of the security area at Sofia Airport, who left the two Vietnamese nationals unsupervised and whose duty it was to secure the area by locking the door, as well as the shift supervisor, who failed to follow orders in carrying out their duties, the ministry statement said.
Last month, one employee of the Sofia Airport security department was sacked and an unspecified number of “supervisors and department heads” had been handed administrative punishments after an incident in which a number of passengers were not properly screened during a layover between flights.
Before that, a number of passengers on an inbound flight to Sofia Airport entered the country in March without having their passports checked because there were no border police officers at their desks.
(Sofia Airport photo: Apostoloff)