Faulty ePassport scanners could be letting a large number of terrorists into the UK, claims security expert

LARGE numbers of terrorists could enter the UK through faulty
electronic passport gates, a security expert has claimed.

The Home Office has confirmed an investigation is under way
after a woman was able to enter the country through ePassport gates
at Newcastle Airport using the wrong passport.

A passenger was able to enter the ePassport gate using the wrong passport (stock)Alamy A passenger was able
to enter the ePassport gate using the wrong passport
(stock)[/caption]

When she passed successfully through the gates, she alerted
border staff, who then asked her to try two further gates using the
wrong documentation – which again let her enter the country.

Professor Anthony Glees, a leading security expert and director
of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said:
“Immigration control is the front line and defence in the fight
against terrorists coming into the country.

“If these biometric scanners are not working then as sure as
day follows night the people that we wish to exclude might not be
excluded.

“This could lead to untold numbers of people who we do not
want in the country, getting into the country.

Two further passport gates also allowed the passenger to pass through (stock)Alamy Two further passport
gates also allowed the passenger to pass through
(stock)[/caption]

“If this has happened, even once, it could happen again but
what I’d like to know is how many times has it already happened
without people realising it.”

The machines, manufactured by Vision Box, were installed at
Newcastle Airport last summer and the firm has supplied them to
airports including Schiphol, in Amsterdam, which handles around 71m
passengers a year.

An airport insider said: “This technology has led to longer
queues, huge numbers of complaints, and now it’s found they will
let anyone through.

“This isn’t a first, it’s happened before pretty much at
every port that has these gates.

“This incident, and others like it, make us a laughing stock.
It will, and should, go all the way to the minister.”

Professor Glees, a former adviser to the Home Office war crimes
inquiry, said the breach, and its potential reach, placed the
country at risk.

Vision Box's scanners were installed at Newcastle Airport last summer (stock)Alamy Vision Box’s
scanners were installed at Newcastle Airport last summer
(stock)[/caption]

He added: “This is extraordinary.
“It’s a matter of grave concern because at the heart of our
immigration policy in the UK is controlling who comes into our
borders.

“We’ve always been able to exclude people who are not
conducive to the public safety, or who are on a watch list.”

Border Force funding fell from £617m in 2012 by £51m to £566m
in 2018, according to House of Lords records.

A Home Office spokeswoman told Sun Online Travel: “We are
aware of an incident at Newcastle airport involving the e-gates on
March 3 and are investigating.”

Sun Online Travel also contacted Vision Box who said:
“Operational issues relating to border security are a matter for
the Home Office. We are not able to comment on specific issues on
the performance of border systems.”

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Earlier this month,
Sun Online Travel reported
that over 2,000 air passengers
missed border control last year before they were sent the wrong way
on arrival.

Some passengers either missed border control altogether or were
later sent back through passport checks.

And
Heathrow said last year
that they would be introducing
biometric technology that will cut journey times by a third.

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
Faulty ePassport scanners could be letting a large number of terrorists into the UK, claims security expert