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More than 11,000 passengers at UK airports were accidentally not processed by immigration check points due to “misdirection” between 2013 and 2017, a new report from UK officials shows.
Officials said misdirection occurs when airport workers open the wrong doors at the arrival gate or when passengers are simply sent to the wrong place.
A Freedom of Information request filed by the BBC shows the numbers of passengers that mistakenly bypassed the border patrol checks totaled 2,394, 2,665 and 2,278 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. The report also shows that from 2016 to 2017, the amount of misdirected passengers jumped 70% from 1,364 people to 2,328.
According to the BBC, the UK government was able to identify all the individuals and carry out the immigration processing. The total number of passengers who bypassed border patrol is a relatively small portion of passengers arriving in the UK each year.
Government officials further stated that no potentially dangerous individuals were part of the thousands that missed the border check.
The UK government is considering passing a fee that would charge both airlines and airport workers up to £50,000 (about $66,730) for misdirecting passengers past border patrol. “We are determined to eradicate these errors and believe a civil penalty is a vital tool in ensuring this happens,” a government spokesperson told the BBC.
Featured image by Prisma Bildagentur/UIG via Getty Images.
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