Walkabout passengers bypass immigration checks at T5
By Christopher Hope
Home Affairs Editor
Last Updated: 8:12PM BST 18/06/2008
More than 200 people managed to evade proper immigration checks in the month after the chaotic opening of the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, figures show.
On five separate occasions passengers on international flights from Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Tripoli and Moscow entered the domestic arrivals area at the 4.3 billion building.
On two occasions staff were able to secure the domestic arrivals area and redirect the passengers, but on three occasions many of the passengers managed to slip out of the domestic area without being identified.
Theresa Villiers, the Tories' shadow Transport secretary, said: “This is a serious security issue. It is deeply worrying that these sorts of lapses have occurred in a context which is so important for national security.'
A UK Border Agency spokesman added: “Immediately after the opening of Terminal Five there were a very small number of incidents where arriving international passengers were taken by British Airways staff to the wrong location.
“The UK Border Agency took immediate action and carried out appropriate checks on those passengers involved. All passengers were accounted for.
“Strong representations have been made to BA who has given assurances that they have acted to prevent the occurrence of any further incidents.”