Saturday 23 September 2017

'Significant' security updates help officers detect illegal immigration

It has emerged that people smuggled into the country were diverted from the route to passport control after exiting the plane, before being moved from the airport undetected.
It has emerged that people smuggled into the country were diverted from the route to passport control after exiting the plane, before being moved from the airport undetected.

Robin Schiller

A "significant" investment in security resources has helped gardaí detect illegal immigration and people being smuggled into the country.

These include freeing up officers by increasing the number of civilian staff, as well as carrying out more stringent security checks.

Sunday's arrests stemmed from an intelligence-led operation which a senior garda said was possible as a result of civilian staff being allocated at passport control.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll said: "In recent times, there has been a reconfiguration of personnel working the immigration control at Dublin Airport which has involved an input of civilian staff attached to Irish Naturalisation and Immigration control booths.

"This has offered the opportunity for An Garda Síochána to enhance its investigative role."

Scanned

However, questions will be raised over the protocols in place to ensure that passengers departing a flight reach the immigration controls in the airport terminal.

It has emerged that people smuggled into the country were diverted from the route to passport control after exiting the plane, before being moved from the airport undetected.

A directive was also issued to staff operating passport control earlier this month, stating that all documents were to be scanned, which would in turn increase co-operation with other agencies.

"Since January 9, every single passport is supposed to be scanned. This information is then available for Interpol and other security agencies," said a source.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said: "There has been significant investment in resources and systems at the airport over the past year and this will continue this year."

Irish Independent

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