Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Carmel on the Case: Security Badges
In the world we live in today, with terrorist threats and memories of 9/11, security is a significant issue. So you might think lost security badges would raise concerns but that's not necessarily the case. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero has more.
WSVN -- From the air to the sea, security is a top concern, so imagine what harm a bad guy could do with access to the seaport and airport, add to that credentials that identify the person as a state licensed security guard working for a local company.
Unidentified Man: "If they fell into the wrong hands, nowadays it could be for sale for terrorism."
This man, who asked we not reveal his identity, says these credentials were found in the parking lot of an apartment building in Miami. With them, an impostor could have access to secure areas at both Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami.
The good Samaritan was shocked when he tried to return the IDs. He says the Port of Miami told him to put the identification badge in the mail.
Unidentified Man: "To drop it in the mail. I said, 'No, I am not going to drop it in the mail.' She said, 'Well, I'm not a carrier, I am not going to pick it up either.' I said, 'OK, fine, very well.' That's why I called you."
He says he didn't think it was safe to put such sensitive credentials in the mail.
James Maes: "I think the individual who found the credential should be commended."
Assistant Port Director James Maes thinks it would have been safe to return the badge by mail but admits the badge should not be in the wrong hands.
James Maes: "This would allow an individual to actually get into some restricted access areas on the seaport."
At Miami International Airport, authorities were so concerned that Seven News had the ID we were told to return it immediately.
Marc Henderson: "We are not opposed to going to get it."
Marc Henderson says MIA would also not object to the ID being returned by mail but would have also picked it up. At the airport, the ID would have granted access to the concourses but not the tarmac.
The man who had the lost IDs told us he had left messages at the airport.
Unidentified Man: "And I never received a call back from the International Airport."
MIA says they checked and could not locate such a message.
Marc Henderson: "We have not been able to identify anybody during those particular days that had called, left a message and said, 'I've got the badge, you know, please give me a call back.'"
There was also a badge for a security company. The man tried to call it as well.
Carmel Cafiero: "You couldn't reach the security company?"
Unidentified Man: "No, I couldn't. I searched on the website and also called 411, and there was no number for that particular security company."
Carmel Cafiero: "It took some doing, but we finally located the security company. It is operating from a private home inside a gated community in Miami. No one would discuss the missing ID's with us. However, we did find the owner of those missing IDs."
Carlos Cardenas explained, through an interpreter, the ID was stolen from his car.
Carlos Cardenas' Interpreter: "Basically, he says, it ruined him, it took away his life."
Before the loss, Carlos' job was to make sure fired cruise ship workers left the country. He says, after his ID was stolen, his boss fired him, so he is now working in construction. Cardenas was grateful to get the ID back and now hopes to get his job back.
Carlos Cardenas: "Oh, hank you."
Carmel Cafiero: "You're welcome."
Carmel Cafiero: "For the most part this case ended well because an honest person found them, but the question remains what could have happened if the IDs had fallen into the wrong hands?"
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