The Times has learnt that British immigration officers rarely carry out a visual check to match a passport photograph with a departing female passenger’s veiled face.
Detectives believe that Jama, 26, was allowed to board an international flight from Heathrow because no attempt was made to uncover his face.
A Home Office spokesman confirmed yesterday that although immigration control staff had the power to ask people to remove the veil to prove their identity, it is not an automatic policy. The only visual checks at an airport that should always be made in relation to departing pasengers are at check-in and at the boarding gate. In each case, the task is the responsibility of the relevant airline. A BAA Heathrow spokesman said yesterday
“Immigration control staff always do a visual check on people coming into the country but only random checks are made with outgoing passengers.”
The Times understands that police investigating the Beshenivsky murder received speci-fic intelligence about Jama’s veiled escape from what is regarded as a very reliable source. Jama — who made £600 from the robbery — is thought to be under armed protection in a semi-lawless region of Somalia where his family wields considerable influence.
Originally posted by stumason
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