Airports on Alert after Terror Warning from Malaysia

By Zarni Mann 30 May 2019

MANDALAY—Myanmar police have boosted security at international airports to prevent the entry of terrorists into the country.

Police Colonel Myo Thu Soe told The Irrawaddy that security at Yangon International Airport and Mandalay International Airport has been heightened since May 26 following a terrorism alert from Malaysian police.

“As we are cooperating with international security organizations, we received the security alert from Malaysian police about the possible entry of terrorists into Myanmar, so we boosted security at international airports,” Police Col. Myo Thu Soe said.

On May 22, Deputy Home Affairs Minister General Aung Thu inspected Yangon International Airport’s security measures. On May 25, Police General Myo Swe Win, a senior official of the Myanmar Police Force, checked the security situation at Mandalay International Airport.

The Myanmar Police Force said it has boosted the number of police at the international airports and is cooperating with the International Criminal Police Organization and other police organizations in Southeast Asia using the Advance Passenger Processing system (APPS).

“APPS is a system which enables us to check the passenger lists as they board the plane. We have blacklists, wanted lists and watch lists. We cooperate with the immigration officials here to check them,” said Police Col. Myo Thu Soe.

He also stated that security alerts were sent to inland border checkpoints.

Meanwhile, the Department of Civil Aviation said it has boosted security at Sittwe Airport in Rakhine State to Level 3, and at the other domestic airports across the country to Level 2.

“As Sittwe is located near conflict areas and there were security alerts, we have increased security measures for the safety of the passengers. The security at the other domestic airports has also been increased,” said U Ye Htut Aung, director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation.

U Ye Htut Aung explained that at airports, Level 1 is a normal security situation, while Level 2 means the facility is on alert, requiring prescreening of passengers and baggage.

In Level 3, full security precautions are taken, including airport security measures, double prescreening of passengers, baggage and check-in baggage, extra security for aircraft and onboard security.

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