Joachim owes screeners an apology – AIA security chief
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March 29, 2018
Joachim owes screeners an apology – AIA security chief

Social commentator Stephen Joachim owes security screeners at the Argyle International Airport an apology for his behaviour there two weeks ago.

So said head of security at the AIA Keith Miller on Monday, March 26, at a press briefing at the AIA’s training room at Argyle.

The briefing was called by management of the AIA on the heels of complaints by Joachim, who is also financial comptroller of the Mustique Company Ltd, that he had been mistreated and manhandled by screening officers while travelling out of the country on Saturday, March 17.

Joachim complained that he walked through the metal detector and it did not go off, but the security officer insisted on doing a pat down, even before using the hand held metal detector.

“The gentleman that was there decided he wasn’t going to use [the metal detector] on me. He decided he wanted to feel me up, I guess. Maybe he finds me an attractive man; I don’t know…,” Joachim said

live on BOOM 106.9 FM’s OMG morning show on March 23.

The outspoken Joachim said he was upset by the way the security officer dealt with him and as a result he directed several expletives at the officer before the search procedure ended.

Joachim said he has been patted down before while travelling in other countries, but nothing like what was done at the AIA had ever happened to him.

“They are grabbing and feeling, and it is invasive, and I asked if he done…,” said Joachim, who noted

the officer said he needed to check his waist, after which he replied there was nothing to see, but the officer insisted on searching his waist.

Joachim said he turned to the supervisor on duty, Miss Charles, and she told him he has a choice, allow the search or don’t go through.

He said that the security officer grabbed his shoulder and he responded to the touch with, “Don’t f…ing touch me.”

Joachim said the “grabbing and pulling” caused his pants to partly come down and after the search, he collected his belongings, went to a section of the airport and pretended he was filming and a police officer was sent to talk to him.

He said he does not want special treatment, but he thinks the staff has not been trained or staff members are untrainable.

He said that security screeners do not wear uniforms and described them as a “bunch of little boys”.

“…Little hooligans, laughing around at each other. Why would any tourist come here when they have to be subject to this abuse by a bunch of little boys?

“…If he had touched me the way he did outside the airport he would be flat on his back now…,” Joachim stated on radio.

At one point he referred to the security officer as “a little Nazi”.

Joachim said after the incident he called chair of the AIA Garth Saunders and was given the CEO’s number, but when he called the CEO, Bourne said nothing.

He thinks management at AIA needs to do better, as the taxpayers have invested millions of dollars in the airport and when persons have bad experiences there, they will use the Internet to spread negativity.

In response, Miller told members of the press that he had learned that Joachim complained he was strip-searched and manhandled by security personnel on the same day it happened.

“Reports like this will trigger an immediate investigation, all because we cannot have anything that is being said adversely about us. Any bit of adverse information that comes out of AIA will affect a number of things about SVG and in particular AIA,” said Miller.

The former commissioner of police said he quickly mounted an investigation into the incident and in his opinion, Joachim overreacted and was in the wrong when the security officer in question tried to do what he was trained to do.

Miller showed recordings of two separate incidents in which he said Joachim overreacted.

In the incident filmed on March 17, at around 1:24 p.m., Joachim goes through the metal detector and is asked to spread his arms. He is searched; no audio is heard, but he seems to be talking and at one point folds his arms in front him. He turns to the side with his hands raised and then raises his shirt showing his stomach to the screener. After being patted down, he turns and walks off and is followed by the officer. Joachim returns to his original position and the officer goes behind him and continues the search. At one point, his shirt is raised, and the top part of his buttocks is exposed. After the search, he retrieves his possessions from the tray. The entire interaction takes a little over three minutes.

“If you justifiably can tell us that Mr Joachim was strip-searched and manhandled, if you can do that honestly and truthfully, I would apologize to Mr Joachim,” said Miller, after members of the media had viewed the video.

Miller said that from what is seen in the video, Joachim owes the AIA an apology and should refrain from this type of conduct in the future.

“It is not the first time and our investigations on both occasions have proven him wrong. I heard him on the radio station on Friday calling our poor screener a Nazi.

“Our screeners reported that he used torrents of indecent language at the screening area, a public area, in the presence of our passengers…the issue of Nazi I believe has legal implications. I do not know what next from here,” Miller commented.

The AIA security head that Joachim was out of line to refer to the screeners as little boys and he must understand that an airport has security measures that must be adhered to.

By law, the only person exempted from screening when travelling through the Argyle International Airport (AIA) is the Governor General.