MIAMI – Qantas (QF) says it is “disturbed” by the information relayed by several news outlets including BBC UK News, Times, and Strait Times just to mention a few, claiming that the airline has been infiltrated by criminal gangs.

According to the above-cited newspapers as well as others, QF appears to have within its personnel members of organized crime that deal with drug smuggling, representing a potential threat to Australia’s borders. The “disturbing” situation was first reported by 9News’ 60 Minutes and based on an official “leaked document.”

According to The Strait Times, QF has written to several state agencies, including Federal Police, Criminal Intelligence Commission, Border Force, and Aviation and Maritime Security to seek information on an intelligence operation, named Brunello, which suspects 150 QF employees of being involved in criminal activities.

Qantas A380 VH-OQH. Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways

Several Risk Areas

View from the Wing, part of Miles and Points Consulting LLC, gives more precise details, indicating that the major risk areas are in the QF air freight division, ground staff, and baggage handling division whose members are alleged to entertaining links with “bikie” gangs and middle east crime syndicates.

The confidential report seems to have been leaked for political reasons, linked to a new security set up concerning airports and ports opposed by some political parties and unions.

Qantas Group Chief Security Officer Luke Bramah declared “To be clear, none of Australia’s law enforcement agencies have told us of the existence of a report that suggests there are potentially 150 Qantas employees who have connections to organized crime. Nor have they raised concerns with us about our vetting or background checking processes.”

With a dedicated press release, QF indicated “We have not been advised of any current investigations of Qantas Group employees involved in organized crime. If concerns are raised regarding any of our employees, we will actively support their investigation and take appropriate action.”

Featured image: Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Johann Heske/Airways