Julian Bray reports: According to the National Crime Agency (NCA) Fake passports and a variety of European identity cards are being seized in greater numbers at small regional airports, from an increasing influx of air passengers, who in reality are migrants attempting to illegally enter the UK.
Clearly the flow should have been stopped at the departure point, before the aircraft took to the skies, but due to the pressure of loading, backhanders, and despatching aircraft within a small turnaround time slot, many passengers, admittedly with valid boarding cards, are being let through on a daily basis.
The problem is highlighted as security at Calais is tightened and professional traffickers seek to find other access routes into the UK. Many of the passports being discovered are real, but stolen, and have little more than a change of photograph pasted in, covered with clear sticky back plastic.
It is possible to buy on the 'dark web' a passport for as little as 700 euros. Gangs of Albanian pickpockets are known to work the major European capitals, and tourists are always an easy source of supply.
|Specially adapted underpants with multiple pockets...|
There is also the shocking case of Air Pakistan steward Shaukat Ali Cheema,59, as reported by the Birmingham Mail, jailed for five years who attempted to smuggle into the UK, 26 passports, 37 biodata passport pages and 13 driving licences all concealed in his specially adapted underpants, in custom pockets which had been expertly sewn in.....
|Just some of the fake passports Cheema attempted to smuggle into the UK|
Border Force acting on a tip off, arrested the senior air steward at Birmingham Airport. It is thought that Cheema had been acting as a courier for these documents for some time, so many hundreds could be already circulating within the UK, along with fake driving licences, effectively putting everyone on the road at risk.
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