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Feds probe alleged screening lapses at Honolulu's airport

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • TSA investigating officers who allegedly failed to check luggage on early flights
  • TSA officers required to screen 100% of checked bags before going in the cargo holds
  • Investigation not about airport checkpoints, where carry-on bags are screened
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Find out more information at CNN affiliate KITV-TV in Honolulu.

Washington (CNN) -- The Transportation Security Administration is investigating between 25 and 30 officers who allegedly failed to check luggage routinely during early-morning flights out of Hawaii's Honolulu International Airport.

The investigation, first reported by KITV 4 in Honolulu and confirmed by CNN, involves the alleged failure of the officers to check thousands of checked bags for explosives on nine daily morning departures. The lapses are believed to have occurred for as long as four months, KITV 4 reported.

TSA officers are required to screen 100% of all checked bags before they are stored in the cargo holds of passenger aircraft.

The investigation does not involve officers at airport checkpoints, where carry-on bags are screened.

A source familiar with the investigation told CNN that investigators are conducting polygraph tests to determine the extent of the security lapse and the exact number of officers who failed their responsibility at the airport.

A TSA spokesman said the agency "is taking appropriate disciplinary action against several TSA officers following an extensive investigation into allegations of improper screening."

"We took immediate action and none of the personnel accused have been conducting screening duties since the allegations were made," spokesman Nico Melendez said. "TSA is proud to hold our workforce to the highest ethical standards and will not tolerate a deviation from the commitment to carry out our mission to protect the traveling public."

 
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