Following the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane, inspection measures at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport must be raised to the highest level, Minister of the Interior Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) said yesterday during an inspection of the airport.
Apart from providing quality service, all security inspection operations at the airport must be raised to “the standard of counter-terrorist operations in countries such as the US and Israel,” he said.
The National Immigration Agency (NIA) and the Aviation Police Bureau have asked all airports and ports to enhance safety inspections and passport checks to prevent travelers from using fake or stolen passports and search for possible terrorist suspects through the Passenger Information System before planes depart, he said.
Photo: Yao Chieh-hsiu, Taipei Times
NIA Director-General Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) and National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) accompanied Chen during his inspection of front-line safety and passport check operations.
Detailed safety inspection measures, such as checking passengers’ baggage, leather shoes and belts, should not be neglected, while thorough inspections should also be carried out on passengers in wheelchairs — including checking the wheelchair, wheels, cushions and accompanying ground personnel, he said.
While the number of passengers departing Taiwan has increased by about 54 percent in recent years, the number of security personnel for inspections has only increased by about 7 percent, he said.
The ministry will try to get a more funds to improve manpower levels and outsourcing of routine work, he said.
After the Malaysia Airlines plane vanished on March 8, the National Counterterrorism Center immediately put the Personal Information Security system into use, so that suspect passengers can be screened out before planes depart and flights can be closely monitored, the minister said.
Meanwhile, the National Counterterrorism Center is linked to a US counterterrorism database, and inspections will strictly prohibit the entry of suspected terrorists or passengers with insufficient identification, the ministry said.
To enhance inspections of passengers and cooperate with the US counterterrorism actions, the NIA has launched the Biometrics Verification System for Foreign Visitors, which collects the fingerprint and visual images of all foreign visitors to help prevent the entry of passengers using bogus travel documents.
The system is undergoing a trial operation at the Kaohsiung International Airport, the immigration agency said.
It said that the system will eventually be installed at all major airports and ports nationwide.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up