Airport Security S6: Peru and Brazil

Airport Security S6 Peru and Brazil on National Geographic on StarSat

Airport Security S6: Peru and Brazil

A country’s priority is to protect its citizens. That includes protecting them from things that foreigners bring into their country. Every nation has its list of restricted and prohibited items that will land you in jail or with a fine if caught. The punishment is often far worse than the crime, but that doesn’t stop would-be smugglers from trying their luck in exchange for a big payday.

Despite how tight airport security protocols have become, finding the smugglers among the hordes is no easy task. The Jorge Chávez International Airport in Peru serves close to 20 million passengers a year, and the São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport serves closer to 40 million. That’s a lot of bodies. Screening every single person is impossible. It’s the job of airport security to spot potential suspects and to find their hidden treasures, mostly drugs.

Identifying a suspect is one thing, but finding the contraband is a whole other story. Simple-minded smugglers make it easy: they stuff drugs into their luggage or their underwear. A simple search or pat-down is sufficient to find contraband. Braver smugglers stuff drugs into their body cavities to prevent dogs from busting them. Too bad that a very uncomfortable cavity search will easily find these hidden stores of goods. The more advanced smugglers go the extra mile: wrapping their contraband in protective packaging and swallow it whole, negating traditional search methods. You cannot hide from x-ray machines though.

No matter where you hide it airport security will find it. The sixth season of Airport Security goes behind the scenes of this important job so we can see what it takes to protect a country from contraband.

Thursdays at 7 PM on National Geographic (ch 220) from the 8th of October