Key players in the aviation industry team up to fight fraud  10th May 2019

Major players in the aviation industry have resolved to unite and merge resources in a bid to fight fraud.

The stakeholders including airlines and their representations formed a team that will come up with ways to combat the menace that has cost the industry billions of shillings.

This resolution was reached during the second Fraud Prevention Workshop, Africa that was organised by the International Air Transport Agency (IATA) and hosted by the Kenya Airways at their Pride Centre in Embakasi.

The team, IATA Regional Head, Financial and Distribution Services Mr Janaurieu D’SA said, will seek to explore fraud data sharing initiatives, share global and regional best practices, raise awareness on fraud prevention tools available and build relationships with law enforcement authorities.

Organisations present included airlines such as Kenya Airways, Fly 540 and their counterparts from Nigeria and Tanzania. Other stakeholders including the National Police Service and the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) also attended.

Speaking during the workshop, KATA CEO Mr Nicanor Sabula pointed out that fraud in travel agencies have led to loss of huge amounts of money, closure of business and negative publicity.

He echoed the sentiments of other speakers stating that Fraud is a global problem that needs urgent intervention.

Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Ursula Silling noted that most cases they have encountered involve credit card fraud.

The industry, she said, should be ready for technological changes in order to fight the scourge.

She quoted the 2018 Cyber source report that indicated that 2 per cent of revenue lost is due to fraud. In the airlines, this is through free flights and resolving with the cases

Most of these cases, it emerged are through last minute bookings and early morning departures, 3D transactions, third party purchases and high-risk airports.

The Head of E- Commerce at I&M Bank, Robert Wakaba stated that common fraudulent schemes include account takeover, identity theft, affiliate theft, botnets, phishing and triangulation.

Such situations nevertheless, he said, can be avoided through thorough validation of records and record keeping.

The Divisional Criminal Investigations Officer, the National Police Service and Kenya Airport Dr Abraham Mugambi said that police have a hard time following up on such cases due to lack of jurisdiction in across the border crimes, the nature of evidence whereby some evidence is admissible in Kenyan courts but not in other countries and vice versa.

Delayed reporting of the cases, lack of evidence, inadequate laws, lack of resources and the absence of universal laws governing fraud are other reasons he gave for the low rate of prosecution in such matters.

He recommended that the stakeholders partner with the police to ensure speedy resolution in such cases.

“There is also further need for prompt reporting, background checks of staff before hiring, review of policies, upgrade of technology and capacity building among stakeholders,” he added.

“KATA has noted with concern that this menace is greatly affecting the business environment and therefore we are working in partnership with several organisations to ensure that this vice is stopped,” Mr Sabula said.

He said that KATA is involved in creating awareness for its members, has secured systems by ensuring the members are PCI DSS compliant and is in the process of forming a Fraud Prevention Program


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