Security, Immigration & Border Control

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Related topics can be posted here. Please be reminded that this is a public forum. Do not post things that could hinder airport or airline security.
 

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Woman arrested over drugs at Birmingham Airport

A BIRMINGHAM woman was arrested at the city’s airport on suspicion of trying to smuggle cannabis with a street value of £60,000 into the country.

The woman, in her 20s, was stopped by UK Border Agency officers on Wednesday after arriving on a flight from Jamaica.

She was arrested after 21 kilos of cannabis was found in baggage. She was released on bail until April.

Customs senior investigation officer, John Theobald, said: “This is another excellent result and sends out a clear message that regional airports like Birmingham are not a soft touch for drug smuggling.

“This demonstrates our continuing efforts to reduce the devastating effects of drugs in our communities.”

A second woman, Shounna Hines, 24, of Caulton Street, Nottingham, has been charged with attempting to smuggle drugs into the UK, after cocaine worth at least £90,000 was found in baggage, and the separate seizure of cannabis.

She appeared before Solihull magistrates yesterday and was remanded in custody until next Tuesday.

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Drugs in rugs smugglers sentenced

Customs officers discovered the heroin at Birmingham Airport

Five men who tried to smuggle heroin worth £1.5m into the UK hidden in rugs have been jailed.

The men, from the West Midlands and Leicester, admitted roles in a plot where heroin was put in hundreds of straws inside 25 Afghan rugs.

Customs officers at Birmingham Airport discovered the heroin in January 2008.

The five men were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for sentences ranging between 14 years and five months and eight months.

The court heard the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) substituted the rugs with copies and began a surveillance operation to catch the gang, after customs officers informed them of the find.

Twenty five rugs were found to have drugs sewn into them

Eventually, a mobile phone number used by the gang to contact a courier company was used to track down the individuals involved.

Ismail Makda, 28, of Rowlatts Hill, Leicester, was sentenced to 14 years and five months.

Asif Kahn, 23, of Evelyn Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, was sentenced to 11 years while Mohammed Faisal Dad, 24, of Leam Crescent, Solihull, was sentenced to 10 years and eight months.

Soyal Hansdot, 42, of Quorn Road, Belgrave, Leicester, was sentenced to 10 years and eight months and Mohammed Ibrar, 21, of Sparkhill, Birmingham, was given eight months.

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Dog sniffs out Birmingham Airport cash

Specially trained sniffer dogs who can detect the scent of money are being used at Birmingham Airport to detect to criminals trying to smuggle cash out of the country. In the past month they have detected more than £420,000 being carried by passengers, with £145,000 detained for further inquiries by UK Border Agency investigators amid suspicion it could be the proceeds of crime.

One passenger had more than £33,000 seized on two separate trips in two weeks after the dog detected the telltale smell of ink on banknotes. On August 12, sniffer dog Max discovered £28,000 in £50 notes hidden inside video cassette cases in a briefcase of a passenger bound for Yemen who about to board a connecting flight to Dubai. While the passenger claimed the money was hidden to stop if from being stolen, checks revealed the man had an outstanding VAT debt and it was seized pending further inquiries. Ten days later the same man was stopped again heading to Yemen via Dubai after a dog sniffed out £5,000 that was also seized.

UK Border Agency dog handler Dean Goddard said the gun dogs being used were ideal for the work because of their natural instinct to hunt and retrieved based on smells.

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I could do with one of these dogs. :D
 

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Biker jailed for 6 years over Birmingham Airport fight

A Hells Angel who fled to South Africa after being convicted of taking part in a riot at Birmingham Airport has been jailed for six years. Mark Larner, 47, formerly of Upper Gornal, near Dudley, was found guilty of rioting in May, but fled while on bail before being sentenced. Judge Patrick Thomas told Birmingham Crown Court he may have received a lesser sentence if he had not fled.

Birmingham Crown Court heard in May that members of the Hells Angels and Outlaw biker groups clashed in a passenger terminal at the airport, some wielding knuckledusters and hammers. Seven rival gang members were sentenced in June for six years each for rioting. Three other Hells Angel gang members and four members of the Outlaws were convicted over the brawl at the airport in January 2008.

Larner appeared in court after he voluntarily surrendered to police at Bristol earlier this month. His counsel, Toby Coupe, told the judge the biker 'did go to South Africa with the intention of evading custody, but having got there he quickly realised that he could not properly sustain a life on the run, so he decided to come back.’

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Birmingham Airport is top laser target

There has been a surge in laser attacks on planes landing at Birmingham Airport, the Sunday Mercury reports. Figures obtained by the newspaper show more than 50 flights arriving at Birmingham have had laser devices aimed at their cockpits this year, more than any other airport in Britain.

The powerful beams can temporarily blind pilots or illuminate the whole cockpit, leaving flight crews struggling to land the aircraft. Security experts say the devices could bring down a passenger plane unless the attacks stop.

The newspaper reports that 'reckless pranksters' are positioning themselves on the flight path of descending passenger jets as they approach Birmingham Airport. When the planes drop below 2000 ft for the crucial approach to landing, they are repeatedly flashing the devices at the cockpit.

Information collected by the CAA shows that 56 planes have been attacked as they came in to land or took off from Birmingham Airport so far this year, averaging at one laser incident every five days. The number of attacks has doubled in just two years. In 2008 there were just 24, with the figure rising to 40 last year.

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Birmingham Airport to launch (paid for) security express lane

A press release from an electronic kiosk making company reveals that Birmingham Airport is introducing a paid for security express lane for passengers to 'improve efficiency and save time.' Protouch Kiosk has revealled that the airport has chosen its Xen X6 kiosks to 'take advantage of a premium express lane and priority processing.'

The kiosks feature a 19 inch touch screen, chip and pin, coin and note acceptor, change dispenser and receipt printer with a branded laminate pass. Interestingly, the company adds that the Kiosk 'will give passengers the choice whether to be processed as per normal or to buy a priority pass from the kiosk,' implying that all passengers will be forced to use it and to make a choice, which does not sound right.

Tom Quarry, Protouch's Managing Director, said: ‘We are really excited to be involved in Birmingham Airport's express lane introduction. It is great to see our touch screen kiosks working so well within the project by improving the airport's operations and enhancing its passengers' experience.’ No details of when the express lane will be introduced or what it will cost were included in the PR.

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Passenger anger over Birmingham ePassport gate closures

Passengers at Birmingham Airport have complained of long delays border controls – because there are not enough staff to monitor the new ePassport barriers, the Mercury reports. The hi-tech gates have been gradually introduced across the country by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), at a cost of £9 million. They use facial recognition to compare the passenger to pictures stored electronically on their ePassport and were designed to speed up arrivals.

The gates went live at Birmingham Airport in August 2009, but returning holidaymakers claim they are now often closed. An airport worker told the newspaper: ‘Delays are worse, not better, in the past 12 months. The UKBA has not got enough officers to man them and the numbers have just been cut again. It’s bad for passengers but it’s worse for the UKBA people, as they are overworked and the public are giving them a lot of grief. The gates cost about £1 million to install in Birmingham and they have been used occasionally, but a lot of the time they are closed.’

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Birmingham Airport security breach 'could happen again'

A security breach, such as that at Birmingham Airport, could happen again, experts said

An airport security breach that saw illegal immigrants smuggled on to planes by airline staff "could happen again", according to aviation experts.

Imtiaz Ahmed and Ghulam Sarwar were jailed on Monday for letting passengers with forged passports on to flights to Canada from Birmingham Airport.

Experts think it is the first case of its kind but say it could happen again.

But the Department for Transport said it would not revise existing security measures as a result of the case.

'Serious compromise'
The National Crime Agency said it was the first time it had encountered a security breach of this nature.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bi ... m-24823508
 

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TheLocalYokel

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Yes
BRS has also been plagued with this all summer - numerous complaints on social media sites I'm told. The local press picked up on it a few weeks ago and did an article.
 

Ianbutty

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If it helps: took an hour to get through border control at Calais ferry port on saturday (including having to roof box searched by armed French army chaps snd having to stop to show passports to both French and British border control). And that was with no significant traffic jam. When we arrived in France the previous Saturday and traffic jam was about 2 miles long so i shudder to think how long they must have waited.

It is not just airports which are experiencing this.
 

jfy1999

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after two years of reduced staff, unsurprisingly BHX has some severe growing pains.

From what Mr Barton has said in the article, it seems there haven’t been enough willing recruits until very recently due to the uncertainty around the aviation industry.

 

jfy1999

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After a lull in the news we have a new flurry of reports on security issues, with reports in the local tabloid of 1km queues, photographs and videos of a long line of passengers waiting outside the terminal. BBC also states 43% of workers at BHX were made redundant, which is the first time I can recall hearing such a figure.

Fortunately the recruitment drive started well before the chaos but i wonder if the chaos will put off any new recruits?
 

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It's a very good point. I guess it depends on how desperate for work someone is. Birmingham airport isn't on it's own of course and I honestly don't understand how airports have got things so badly wrong. We know airports laid off staff during the Covid pandemic but airlines do give airports sufficient notice to plan ahead for future demand. Airports will already have a good idea of passenger numbers for the summer holidays.
 

Sherburnflyer92

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The biggest pain for all employers/employees is the change of the requirements to obtain an airside pass. I believe they want a more in depth CRB check which takes longer and there are more T'S and I'S to cross/dot then ever before. As usual the government went ahead with changes.

This should of probably been brought about next year to allow the industry to get back onto its feet.
 

Aviador

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The biggest pain for all employers/employees is the change of the requirements to obtain an airside pass. I believe they want a more in depth CRB check which takes longer and there are more T'S and I'S to cross/dot then ever before. As usual the government went ahead with changes.

This should of probably been brought about next year to allow the industry to get back onto its feet.
That depends on where you work. Airport employees might all have new additional checks but to work in aviation security you already have to reach CTC clearance. I am not aware of there being any additional delays in obtaining clearance but that could account for some of the problems if that is the case.
 
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