The Editor, Sir:
This letter is to warn travellers boarding flights at the Sangster International Airport of the danger they put themselves in when they check in their luggage. On Thursday, March 4, my sister was returning to Canada and checked in at the counter handling CanJet Airlines bound for Pearson International Airport in Toronto , Canada.
On arrival in Toronto, she went to collect her luggage and realised that her suitcase had a special mark, and was reluctant in taking it off the carousel. The suitcase went around twice. She said to herself that the suitcase looked like hers but she did not put any special mark on it.
She voiced her concern aloud: "That suitcase looks like mine, but what the hell is that red tie doing on it!" Someone heard her and stepped over and asked her what she had said. She repeated and was told not to touch the suitcase. He took it off the carousel, got the dogs to sniff it. When the suitcase was opened, lo and behold, lying on top of her clothes were some packets of cocaine.
Well, she was stripped-searched, arrested, fingerprinted, photographed and whatever else goes with the arrest of a potential drug trafficker. Can you imagine the shame and humiliation she suffered? She almost fainted when her suitcase was opened and there lying before her were packets of drugs.
The million-dollar question is: Who put the drugs in her suitcase? Why was hers chosen? What if she wasn't observant to see that the suitcase that looked like hers was carrying a special mark, and she had just yanked it off the carousel and marched with it to Customs? Today, she would be in jail. Despite the shame and humiliation she went through she was not cast into jail, as the arresting and investigating officers accepted that she was ignorant of the drug in her suitcase. She is emotionally drained. She is having constant flashbacks of her ordeal. She is becoming a nervous wreck. Her crying from the moment she was arrested has not ceased. Her ordeal has affected the entire family here and abroad.
As travellers, we need to request supporting documents when our luggage is checked off to show that luggage is free from illegal substance. Why is there a rule that suitcases are not to be padlocked?
I trust that this letter will cause travellers to be very careful, as criminal activities abound everywhere.
I am, etc.,
UPSET FAMILY MEMBER
Montego Bay, St James