Whilst the UK government makes life harder for those wishing to stay in the UK legally, it seems that coming here illegally has never been easier.
BBC’s Panorama reporter, Shahida Tulaganov, paid between £250 and £1500 for 20 fake EU passports from dealers all over Europe. The first passport was bought from a Ukrainian dealer in London leading to a string of transactions from Poland to Greece.
The reporter gained entry into the UK on two separate occasions using a bogus and stolen passport. She managed to pass through Immigration Officers and a Policeman at Portsmouth docks with a false Latvian passport, having been advised to travel by sea to avoid stringent checks.
She then entered the UK on Eurostar using a stolen passport, which should have been picked up on an Interpol database. The Waterloo terminal, like airports, is supposed have all the latest technology.
Once in the UK she could have used her ‘EU member’ passport to obtain work, a National Insurance number and even claim benefits.
Many employers ask me how they can detect false documentation and whether or not they risk the much publicised £2000 fines for employing illegal immigrants.
My answer from now on will be simple… If the Immigration and Police Officers can’t tell the difference between a fake passport and a real one, what chance have the rest of us got?
If you should have any questions or views or need help please email Charles Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org.